Favourite Exercise Hacks

In my quest to be healthier, I have been looking for exercise hacks so that when I have 10-15 minutes of idle time, I can exercise.

For instance, soleus calf pushups. You can do these anywhere. I can be standing in a hallway and knock out a set of 60 in a matter of minutes. It’s fun(ish), healthy, convenient and boy do my calves hurt at the end.

Can anyone else recommend other exercises like this that can help burn fat and/or improve muscle mass? Thanks in advance…

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Just got back from my new exercise hack.

I have a dog that needs to be walked a few times a day. Historically this was rather dead time as far as exercise goes. After listening to Peter Attia’s “Comfort Crisis” podcast I decided it would be pretty easy to load some gallon-sized ziplock bags with sand, put them into one of my spare backpacks (be sure it has good chest-straps, waist strap and shoulder pads - and I ended up adding some old clothing between the layers of sandbags so that the weight isn’t all concentrated in the bottom of the pack), and make my dog-walks into “rucking” walks. Now - I hit the hills of San Francisco with my dog and a 40lb or 50lb pack on my back and get a lot more exercise during the dog walk. And - this gets me in a lot better shape for some long backpack hikes I plan this summer.

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Thanks for this! I usually listen to all of Attia’a podcasts, but I somehow missed that one.

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While in front of the computer sit on a large exercise ball. This encourages good posture, works the core, and is actually a little fun when you feel like rolling a little, bouncing, or trying a feet-off-the-floor momentary balance.

Fwiw, I tried turning my treadmill into a walking desk, but I found I walked too much on the front of my feet to stay close to the desk. Eventually this led to severe foot pain. Not a fan of the standing desk either, but that’s just me.

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I haven’t tried the soleus push-up, but there are arguments put forward for it.

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Rest, recover and get your protein

This is a good idea, also keeps your core in shape.

I also use a standing desk which helps avoid the degeneration of a lot of muscles from sitting all day.

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I’ve found that coupling simple exercises with stuff I have to do every day makes it more habitual. Some examples:

  • 25 calf raises while I brush my teeth

  • 25 pushups before I get in the shower

  • 100 squeezes on a hand grip strengthener on my drive to work

  • Hold my breath for two minutes on my drive home from work

  • 10 chinups as soon as I enter my office in the morning

  • 25 situps before bed every night

I do a lot more than that every day, but you get the idea. This strategy has helped me stick to my daily exercise routine without any lapses for a few years now.

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When you are my age (81+) things seem to have more effect. When you are young and healthy, supplements and exercise, etc, won’t impress you very much. The fact is, one of the markers of age is a slower gait and more abnormal walking posture. I have been using the soleus exercise for a few weeks and it has made a noticeable improvement in my gait and posture. I use a slanted wedge that I bought for a reverse exercise for the knees that also works great in the forward position for soleus exercise. As I said, younger people may not see too much benefit, but I think it is a great exercise for older people.

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I use an exercise frame for chin-ups and other upper body strength resistance exercises and otherwise I walk briskly. When I lost 45kg in weight I found I could run, but generally I don’t. I am not a member of a gym.

OTOH I now often have a RHR under 50bpm when not drinking.

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A standing calf raise primarily works the gastrocnemius muscle (which is faster twitch muscle fibers).
To really get the ‘slow twitch’ soleus muscle the leg has to be bent at 90 degrees - i.e. in a seated position.

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Yes, l-Citraline or potassium BHB in the morning.
I got on to the potassium BHB when I found out my potassium levels were a little low. It is easy to be low on potassium.
I take the potassium BHB salts 5 - 10 grams in a little paper cup with about 1 oz of water. Potassium BHB is extremely hygroscopic and dissolves instantaneously. I toss it back like a shot of tequila with a water chaser. The stuff is fairly nasty and tends to ruin the taste of anything it is mixed with so I just take it straight with water.
The potassium is faster and stronger than the l-citrulline, but the l-citrulline works too, and is cheaper.

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Thank you for your advice! I now do sitting soleus calf push ups and standing ones. My calves are growing so fast, I’ll be calling them bulls soon.

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Ive been rucking for about 6 months now. At first I got into it to reduce my running. I missed that too much so I added back some running time but I still ruck about twice a week. What I like best about it is that it gives me access to places that are too rough to run. Now its winter and Im rucking in the snow. Thats a workout! I love being outdoors and this lets me really get into nature! The toughest part for me has been my traps. Even though I have a good backpack (www.goruck.com) loaded at 40 lbs really makes my traps ache. Its totally worth it though!

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My traps also sometimes really hurt, but I think that may be a sign that I’ve got too much load on my shoulders and not enough on my waist/hips.

Learn to fix shoulder pain by addressing your posture

Think about having a long, tall spine at all times. Make sure you have a pack that allows the weight to largely be placed on the hips, not the shoulders. Everyone has a different percentage or theory, I like around 75-80% on the hips, the rest on the shoulder straps.

EB196164-D2B5-428E-B5EC-1D98780E5E51In the picture on the left, I’m standing tall, arms are resting at my side. This is an ideal posture for hiking and life. My ears are over my shoulders – this helps to keep the shoulders where they belong and not rounded forward.

My hands rest at my sides which helps clue you in on where the shoulders are positioned. If the shoulders are rounded, the hands land on the front of the leg, not the side.

On the right image, the head is forward and the ear is in front of the shoulder. This strains the muscles in the back of the neck which can cause tension headaches.

On the right image, my shoulders are rounded forward. You’ll also see that with my shoulders rounded forward, the hands also land more to the front of my legs. That’s an easy clue that your shoulders are rounded. When fatigue sets in posture goes right out the window.

Source: Shoulder Pain While Hiking? Learn How To Fix It! | Trailside Fitness

Other sources/reading:

REI: https://www.rei.com/blog/hike/pack-killing-neck-heres-fix

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I’ve been using the Nike Training Club app for a few years now. It’s free and contains a range of beginner to advanced workouts. Also includes body weight only to fill weights, along with workouts of different durations (from 5 min to over 60).

Link: https://www.nike.com/au/ntc-app

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Hi dessert you have company in being 81, which I will be in March '23. I have started my sirolimus three weeks ago starting with 1mg and have increased it weekly by 1mg aiming for 5-6mg / wk. Like everyone looking for a long but healthy life. I do those stretches at the gym. Not sure if it is the same, looks similar.

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