Incline It Baby, Intervals, and Exercise + Nutrition = Health

The title of this post sums up the highlights of an impromptu video I shot this week with Deborah Klein, MS, RD. Deb contributed to the nutrition content of my eBook, “AGE RE-DEFINED: Take Control of Your Health, How You Feel, And How You Look: Even In Your Forties & Fifties”.  She is published by McGraw-Hill: “The 200 Super Foods That Will Save Your Life”, which is a great resource. (It has tons of recipes in addition to complete info on nutrients and health benefits of the foods presented.) Deb is also the Health Director of Organic Liaison in Los Angeles.

First, I talked about specific health benefits I received from re-booting my commitment to exercise and nutrition, beginning four years ago at the age of 52 and about the general philosophy of re-defining one’s age. Then, I talked about interval training (just scratching the surface), and made reference to one of my exercise mottos: “Incline It Baby”.  I like to do incline sprints, incline walking lunges, and, of course, incline treadmill.

In one of the takes – not the final cut – Deb asked how much incline on the treadmill, 5 or 6?  I responded that I’ve gotten up to 24% on the treadmill – for brief periods. (Incline is expressed as a percent slope or gradient; 1% = 1 foot vertical rise for every 100 feet of forward travel; 24% = 24 feet of vertical rise of 24 feet for every 100 feet of forward travel. That might not be exact, but you get the idea. As a pilot, for example, I knew that a 5000 foot runway with a 1% slope was going to have a 50 foot difference in elevation from one end of the runway to the other. Leave it to me to throw in a flying reference whenever possible.)

Last night was a gym cardio and abs night. For cardio, I did treadmill. My walking speed intervals (3.0 mph) reached 20% incline and my running speed intervals reached 9.2 mph at 3.0% incline. At walking speed, I don’t use arms for momentum/propulsion, regardless of incline. I’m 56 (57 next month). Challenge yourself! You’ll have to work up to this if you are a cardio novice or if you haven’t been challenging yourself.

I started the session with sideways and backwards walking at 5.0% incline: about 30 paces sideways right, 60 paces backwards, and 30 paces sideways left. I usually do this cycle twice, but tonight I did it once.

My total calorie burn during the workout – per the machine, which may or may not be accurate – was 427 calories in 31 minutes, an average of about 13.8 calories per minute, meaning that I was burning a lot more than that during the most challenging minutes of the intervals. (There is also post-workout calorie burn, especially with interval training. And arguably better cardio results, because of the higher intensity reached during the most challenging of the intervals. As a general rule, if you always work out at the same low intensity, that’s what your body will adapt to: the same low intensity.)

For abs, I did 67 reps (not all in one set) of “hanging abs”, using elbow slings and a chinning bar, and 120 reps of machine “side crunches” (60 left, 60 right).

I still have one more cardio workout and one more resistance training workout to get in this week (Friday and Saturday).

Let me wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day in advance. Stay healthy, fit, and well.

And here is a link to the video: