Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS • Nutritional Periodontist
August 23, 2016
In Part 1, I discussed what I eat on a typical weekday and then what I eat on a typical weekend. In this Part, I discuss how I exercise. In Part 3, I discuss my sleep patterns and how I deal with stress.
I believe an exercise program must be efficient for me. An efficient exercise program provides the maximum health and fitness benefits I am looking for in the least amount of time. I don’t want to produce oxidative stress in my body on a chronic basis. Therefore, I want a program that allows my body to rest and recover before performing another similar exercise session.
To meet these desires, I follow specific guidelines weekly. I perform high-intensity interval training, bodyweight strength training, aerobic exercise, and low-intensity physical activity.
High-intensity interval training
I use a Nordic Track Classic Pro Skier®, a cross-country ski machine that is set up in my spare bedroom.* Once a week, I do four to six cycles depending how I feel that day. It goes like this:
I warm up by “skiing” at a slow pace for two minutes. Then, I “ski” at the fastest speed I can muster for twenty-five seconds, and then rest by “skiing” slowly for ninety seconds. That completes one cycle, which I will repeat until done. This routine is exhausting, as it should be.
Bodyweight strength training
I do four basic movements in the privacy and comfort of my home once or twice a week. They are pull-ups, squats, pushups, and planks. I only use my own bodyweight as resistance. I purchased a pull-up bar online and attached it to the doorframe of my bedroom. Here is an online source that reviews various pull up bars.* The squats, pushups, and planks require no equipment, only motivation. There are great videos demonstrating these movements on YouTube by Mark Sisson. The series is worth viewing: pull-ups, squats, pushups, and planks.
My favorite aerobic exercise is to ride my Trikke® outdoors.* For me, it’s great exercise and great fun. I ride my Trikke for thirty-to-forty minutes on Saturday and Sunday mornings, unless the weather is not cooperative.
Low-intensity physical activity
Non-exercise movement is just walking or moving about. My goal is to walk approximately 10,000 steps a day. At first, I found a pedometer was best to count how many steps I was taking a day. Today’s pedometers can be carried in your pocket, worn around your waist or wrist, or even worn around your neck. Here is an online review of various pedometers.* Once I learned how much walking I needed to do to add up to 10,000 steps, I didn’t need to use a pedometer any longer.
Standing rather than sitting has been shown to be important for overall health and for the health of your joints and stabilizing muscles. Sitting most of the day is associated with increased health risk, independent of the performance of other active exercise.
As a dentist, I sit while treating patients in my dental office. Standing while treating patients is practically impossible for me. While not treating patients, I try to stand as much as possible in my office. At home, I use a standup desk when I use my computer, and I stand while doing most anything I once did sitting.
Where I Am Today
I am almost 70 years old. These four categories make up my entire exercise program. Some experts have suggested that I could be more aggressive or varied in my routine. Personally, I don’t know why. This program has allowed me to feel healthier today than I have ever felt. I plan to continue what I am currently doing for as long as I am able. This is a simple program that works for me and allows me to do whatever else I want to do.
*(I do not receive any remuneration from Nordic Track, any pull up bar or pedometer company, or Trikke.)