Updated: Oct 20, 2021
This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in May of 2021. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlmF9PM3Kg0
Bob: Today, we’re going to talk about the dominant exercise for great health, including weight loss, cardio, and back pain.
Brad: It’s got to be one good exercise, Bob. And we’ve got it all raveled out in here. We are going to show you exactly.
Brad: I’m excited about this one. What does it take to be the best, the dominant exercise? Number one, it has to be something that the majority of people can do.
Bob: Right, what good would it be if it’s the dominant exercise if only 10% of the population can do it.
Brad: Or just high-level athletes or whatever. We want it for the masses. Number two, good compliance. It has to be something that most people will be willing to do. It’s not like, you know nobody wants to do crunches. Laying down and doing abdominal work. Most people don’t.
Bob: Well, some of the really high intensity workouts too. People have trouble sticking with them.
Brad: Yeah, you get sore muscles.
Bob: They do it for a while and they burn out on it.
Brad: And number three, something low cost. You don’t have to go out and purchase a large piece of equipment or something. The next thing for this exercise, there’s 7 benefits that are really important. Number one it should burn some calories. We want some weight loss. Lower blood pressure. It’s going to lower blood pressure, which is wonderful. Improved digestion. It’s a broad exercise. This is great. It’s going to help joint and back pain. Also, good for osteoporosis, osteopenia, bone loss and improve your sleep. Then just simply make you live long.
Bob: I know you like seven, Brad, but I’m going to add a number eight.
Brad: Oh, the bonus. What’s number eight?
Bob: Number eight is it’s going to help your mental health, without a doubt.
Brad: Yeah, you’re right, you’re right.
Bob: Exercise in general helps mental health.
Brad: But there’s been studies on this particular exercise.
Bob: Especially when done in a certain way.
Brad: So, everyone’s wondering what is the exercise? The answer is so simple. Many people have already guessed, I’m sure. It’s simply walking. Get out and walk. Dr. Steven Blair has done a lot of research on exercise for the general population back in the eighties and nineties. This was his go-to exercise. We talk about back pain, Stuart McGill, leading back expert.
Bob: What Stuart recommends Brad, is actually if you’re having back pain, he recommends getting out four times a day with walking for even just 5 minutes each time. He said even up to 20 minutes, four times a day. Probably the number one thing you can do for your back pain.
Brad: And if you are doing it with back pain, walking on the flat is going to be much preferred because it keeps that pelvis stable.
Bob: In regards to mental health, Brad, we’ve also seen this, they had done studies that it's so much better to walk out in nature.
Brad: Yep, get away from the hustle and bustle if that opportunity exists, some people may not have that. But if you can jump in the car and take a 10-minute ride to get to the park, that kind of thing.
Bob: Well, it’s an hour ride, ha-ha.
Brad: Duration, well how long should we walk? People are going to want it. 20-30 minutes is typically recommended. And then, 5-7 days a week. If you’re just starting out and you have not walked much, start out on five-minute walks, maybe 10 minutes and then do it every other day so your body gets used to it.
Bob: If you’re really not fit, go to the end of the driveway and back. I mean, just a couple times a day. Start off in a manageable bite.
Brad: You know, I was just listening to Sara Meeks, and she was talking, if you’ve been in bed, let’s say you’ve maybe had COVID and your bed-ridden for a week. That just takes your whole cardiovascular system down to an incredibly low level. So, you’re going to go out and walk, short distances. Like you said, maybe to your mailbox and back.
Bob: I got pneumonia when I was a sophomore in high school, and I was in track at the time. I came back mid-season, and it wasn’t until the end of the season that I stopped getting last in the mile because it just took so much out of me.
Brad: And that’s as a young person.
Brad: If you’re older, it’s way worse. Let’s talk about anything else with back pain.
Bob: So, this was recommended by Dr. Stuart McGill. I found this fascinating. I tried it on some patients, and it worked. What he recommended is that you actually pick up your pace
when you walk.
Brad: That sounds weird.
Bob: It does sound weird because it seems like it might hurt your back more. It does, you actually take less weight on a spine if you are walking at a faster pace. I had a guy come in. He was limping like you wouldn’t believe. He looked like he was walking through a desert on a hot day. I said, we’re going to try walking at a faster speed. He looked at me like I was crazy. But by the end of the session, he was walking around, and he looked normal.
Brad: Was he smiling?
Bob: He was smiling. I was the Messiah after that. I mean, I knew everything, ha-ha.
Brad: It is fun to be a therapist when that happens.
Bob: Yeah, once in a while that happens.
Brad: I do want to mention though, if you’ve been walking for a while, you’re up to 20-30 minutes and you’re starting to get bored and you need something to break it up, do some interval walking. Or actually kind of a modified HIIT, high intensity interval training. You can do this very easily. Walk for one minute or pick a distance out. Maybe if you’re walking in a city, you could go one block where you walk very quickly and briskly and the next block you take your time and slow down. So, you go fast then slow then fast. You can break that up, two minutes, one minute.
Bob: Whatever interval you want to go with.
Brad: With these cell phones you can actually put a little beeper timer there, so it beeps after one minute. If you’re that kind of person.
Bob: Which you are.
Brad: Well, sometimes I swear at the phone because it doesn’t do what I want it to. Then I have issues.