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96: Core Four Back to Basics Series - Physical Activity

Feb 15, 2022

If magazine covers and blogs are to be believed, you'd need to be in the gym for a few hours a day to be "healthy." The Who Cares guys disagree. They explore what the research says about physical activity and health as well as share tips for what has worked for them to increase and actually enjoy being more active.

Episode Transcript

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Scot: All right. Going to talk about physical activity today on "Who Cares About Men's Health." It's funny because if we saw an ad for a pill that offers all the benefits of physical activity, everybody in the world would take it. But a lot of times it can be a struggle to get in that physical activity. A lot of us have overloaded schedules, maybe sedentary jobs, maybe you don't know where to start, you just don't enjoy it.

This is episode number 2 of 5 of our Core Four Back to Basics series, Physical Activity. So if you struggle with getting enough physical activity or don't know where to start, this episode is for you.

So today's crew, you've got me. My name is Scot Singpiel. I bring the BS. The physical activity I like to engage in is I like to strength-train, run, and chase my dog, Murphy. The MD to my BS, Dr. Troy Madsen, what kind of physical activity do you like?

Troy: Scot, I resolved a long time ago I wasn't going to talk about running anymore on this podcast, but since you're baiting me into doing that, I'll say I like to run.

Scot: Yep. A lot. He likes to run a lot.

Troy: A lot.

Scot: We also have Mitch Sears on the show. What do you like to do?

Mitch: I'm still figuring it out.

Scot: Okay. And nutritionist Thunder Jalili, who, by the way, his idea of physical activity is saving babies from oncoming buses and he does it daily. What else do you like to do, Thunder?

Thunder: That about sums it up. It's a very tedious task. No, I like to ride mountain bikes and road bikes. I like to ski and I also like to strength-train. So those are my main ones.

Scot: All right. And before we get into this, I think it's important to say we choose physical activity over exercise very intentionally because some people don't like to exercise, but you can still get physical activity without exercising. And we'll get into a little bit of that later along with some of the things that have worked for us to try to get more physical activity in our life.

So let's, first of all, before we get to the advice, start with Thunder and Troy. I think most men understand the benefits of physical activity. We know we have to move, but for whatever reason, if we're not, there's some reason. But let's go down a quick list to some of the benefits, because it's amazing.

Troy: It is amazing, Scot. And I love that you said if we had a pill that claim to do what physical activity can do, we would all take it. And I am more and more convinced . . . because I work in the ER and I take care of people who maybe haven't had a lot of activity, are coming in with heart attacks, or diabetes, and complications of that. I'm more and more convinced that, yeah, we can do certain things and we can give certain pills to treat these things, but the best remedy . . . It's kind of cliché, the best remedy really is prevention, and that's what physical activity does.

So just a few of the things that I've found just in searching through the literature and looking at different studies that are very clear is that physical activity reduces your risk of cancer. And that's a huge thing because most people . . . maybe not most, but 45% or so of people in the course of their lifetime will get cancer, and half of those cancers are going to be fatal. Anything you can do to reduce that risk is definitely time well invested.

There's also the brain health. We've talked about that before as well, just helping you think more clearly, helping with mental health, helping you sleep better. I think we all know those things. And I think a lot of us like to exercise because we just feel better. We have a better mood. We're happier. We have a better outlook. We feel more optimistic, and we're tired and we sleep well at night.

And then, of course, the other obvious thing I think we all think about with exercise is it reduces your blood pressure. Again, I think it's much more effective than medication at reducing blood pressure. If I were to tell anyone anything who comes in with high blood pressure in the ER, my first recommendation is focus on diet and exercise. Heavy emphasis on exercise. It's going to reduce your blood pressure, potentially avoid medication.

Thunder: So there are also a few other benefits of physical activity that we should highlight. One is it improves insulin sensitivity, and that's a really important one. As we get older, we tend to become a little bit insulin resistant, especially if that's accompanied by weight gain. And so physical activity improves insulin sensitivity and keeps us from gaining weight. So that can prevent diabetes. And actually, even people that have Type 2 diabetes can improve their insulin sensitivity by physical activity that helps them lose weight.

And one other one that we haven't mentioned is people who exercise regularly, particularly aerobic exercise, actually are better at burning fat too. So they have this enhanced efficiency of burning fat. And I think that's something that everybody would like to have.

Troy: And one other thing too, Thunder, I love about exercise . . . And this isn't just something you say, like, "Wow, people who exercise look younger." On a molecular level, studies have actually looked at what happens when people exercise. If you take people who aren't exercising and you look at them after exercise, it reduces the aging process. So if you want to stay young, exercise. It's really remarkable what happens just on a cellular level with exercise.

Thunder: Yeah, that's definitely true. And I want to throw in a really quick cool example that relates to the blood pressure comment you made, Troy. So exercise improves the function of the cells that line your blood pressure and it changes them at this molecular level to allow them to make the factors that allow your blood vessels to dilate, and that lowers your blood pressure. So it's the exercise that's causing these molecular changes in those cells that line the blood vessels. Very cool stuff.

Troy: Yeah, it is so cool. And along with that, any time you're talking about that sort of process, you're talking about reduced risk of heart attack, reduced risk of stroke, decreased risk of crazy, awful diseases or processes like aortic dissection, where the aorta can tear. These sorts of things, any time you're exercising, you're improving that blood vessel and, like you said, the lining of the blood vessels, and you're reducing your risk of these other disease processes.

So tons of benefits. Like you said, Scot, it really is a miracle drug. If we marketed this, this would be a . . . Talk about these blockbuster drugs. This would be the blockbuster drug.

Scot: Right? And it comes back to our thesis of this podcast, the Core Four. If you focus on nutrition, activity, sleep, your emotional health, and then take a look at your genetics, that can go a long way to making you feel good now and in the future. And I think you just really outlined how powerful exercise is.

What is physical activity or exercise? I think that that word is important, because exercise can limit how we think about getting out and moving around. We might go, "Well, I don't have time to exercise because that means going to a gym," or, "That means this scheduled thing in my day." But it's really about physical activity. It's about moving more, finding opportunities to move around more, and also incorporating some of those other things into our life. But what does exercise mean to you, Thunder? Or physical activity, I should say.

Thunder: Yeah. So it actually means what you were saying. I engage in physical activity. Some of it is kind of necessary physical activity. If I have something I need to do around the house or around the yard, let's say I have to do vacuuming, it's my turn for that, or I have to mow the lawn, or planning something, that's physical activity. Now, that's not necessarily fun for me. It's a necessary evil. I have to do it, but I recognize that counts as my physical activity.

And then, for me, exercise is usually something that's fun. I like to ride my bike. Yeah, it's exercise, but I do it because it's also fun. Skiing is another example. So that's kind of how I approach the whole realm of physical activity and exercise.

Scot: Mitch, how about you? What does physical activity mean to you?

Mitch: Well, for me . . .

Scot: You're kind of searching a little bit, so I'm interested to hear what your answer is here.

Mitch: Well, it's interesting because it used to be exercise is what made you the most banging. That was like the goal of . . .

Scot: The most banging?

Mitch: The most banging. That was kind of the goal from high school through college, and it has shifted. And for me, making sure that I get enough physical activity is ultimately kind of investing in myself because I do not want to be feeble. I do not want to be old and decrepit. I want to be able to continue to live my life to the fullest for the rest of my life.

And I know that by getting more active, by making sure that I prioritize physical activity, even now in my 30s, it's going to pay off a lot later and going to keep me mobile, keep me able to walk, keep me strong. And for me, that's the real focus these days, is to make sure that I can continue to live the life I want to live.

Thunder: Mitch, you and I are trying not to see Troy in a professional capacity.

Troy: That's right. That should be your goal in life, honestly. Do not see me in a professional capacity.

Scot: Troy, what does physical activity mean to you?

Troy: To me, I think that's really kind of evolved over time in terms of how I look at physical activity. One of the biggest challenges I see . . . I just feel like so often we just feel like physical activity has to be dedicated time at the gym, and that's kind of what Thunder and Mitch have both talked about, that it had to be like, "Okay, I'm going to the gym. This is my physical activity." I think now I like to look at it just as more it's your lifestyle, it's what you do.

For me, physical activity is having something I can do every day that's sustainable. I like to have it and I like to do it and I like knowing that even if I'm not feeling well, even if it's raining outside, even if it's late and I'm tired or whatever it is, I can go out and do that and I know I can do it every day. For me, that's what works.

But I think larger than that, again, I think it comes down to it's incorporating that where it's just part of our lifestyle. It's not like I'm just trying to carve out time. Dedicated exercise is like, "Hey, this is what I do. I do it every day and I enjoy it and it's just part of who I am."

I don't know. I feel like to really make it sustainable where it's not just a chore, I think you kind of have to just get to that point hopefully where you can kind of feel that way.

Scot: Physical activity for me is my time. And unlike you, Troy, I like working out in the gym. I like going and lifting weights. Although I don't lift very heavy weights, I think there was a woman next to me squatting more than I could ever squat, but I just enjoy that. I enjoy feeling my body move. And it's also my time when I want to get away from everything else. I know I can do that.

And much like Mitch, I started out wanting to be like Arnold Schwarzenegger, right? Then as I've aged, it has truly become, "I just want to be able to wake up in the morning and get out of bed without hurting."

I see older people, and you see both examples of this. You see older people that have really worked on that and they are vibrant and they're still getting around and they're enjoying their life. And you've seen older people who have not, and it's a whole different situation. I want to avoid being the "or not." So it's the anti-aging part of it, I think, for me as well.

Troy: Yeah. And hearing all this too, I think the definition of physical activity . . . we've all had different definitions. It's different for everyone. I think you just find what works for you to get you moving. If you like the structure, if you like the gym, you do it. If you like to ride bikes . . .

I don't like riding a bike. I'll admit it. I don't enjoy it. I've tried it. I commuted to work on a bike for like a year and a half, and I don't like it. But I think you just find what works for you and what you enjoy and just make it sustainable, make it fun, and make it something you can do every day.

Scot: All right. So a common question that people have is, "How much physical activity do you need, and what's the intensity?" So we're going to talk about kind of the physical activity basics right now. This is for adults. So it's different for kids and older adults and people with chronic disease and pregnant women. So this is for healthy adults. Mitch, why don't you go ahead and cover that?

Mitch: So the research kind of shows five main things that really are there basic, basic stuff that'll really kind of improve your health and make sure that you are getting the physical activity that you need.

The very first one is to move more and sit less throughout the day. So whenever you possibly can, try to get up, try to move a little bit. The body was made to move. So try to make sure that you're moving more throughout the day.

Number two, for the most substantial health benefits, try to shoot for 150 to 300 minutes of moderate activity weekly, kind of anything that gets your heart beating faster, like a brisk walk or going upstairs, something along those lines. So, again, 150 to 300. So that's, what, 30 minutes 5 times a week or more?

Troy: Yeah, 30 minutes. And I like too, Mitch, how you said there just brisk walking. You go out for a 30-minute walk at lunch or maybe you have a couple breaks and you do two 15-minute brisk walks, you're good. Right there. Five days.

Mitch: Yeah, you don't have to go and slam weights at a gym. You can get activity just by moving your body.

And then the kind of thing for people who are maybe a little tighter on time, you can get the same kind of benefits if you do 70 to 150 minutes of what they call vigorous activity. And this is equivalent to a jog, a run, getting your heart rate that much higher. So if you can get a mix of these two, if you can just kind of shoot to try to get 30 minutes a day, you're going to see the most health benefits for yourself.

Thunder: Hey, I'd like to throw one other thought into that. If you're going to do 15 minutes of vigorous exercise like we've been talking about, it is important to build in a warmup period so you don't go from 0 to 100 instantly and pull something.

And that warmup exercise actually kind of goes in that moderate exercise category. So if you're going to do a run, brisk walk five minutes, kick it to a slow jog for five minutes, and then run really hard for 15 minutes, and you've covered a lot of ground there.

Troy: Yeah. Exactly. And then you're looking at an additional 75 minutes of moderate exercise plus 75 of vigorous exercise. So that's a pretty good combination.

Thunder: Yeah.

Scot: And the research has shown that if you do go above that 300 minutes or that 150 minutes, it does provide additional benefits. It was a little unclear as to kind of where the point of no return is on that, but . . .

Thunder: Well, I think the point of no return is if you get in situations where people are exercising so much that they're increasing their risk of injury.

Mitch: Oh, sure.

Thunder: Then they're exercising maybe through injuries like stress fractures, or pulled muscles, or things like that. So I guess there's an upper limit of where common sense kicks in.

Troy: Yeah. Scot, you've talked before . . . I remember when you talked about an article about . . . I think it was a trainer who talked about how we don't necessarily overtrain, but we under-recover. So I think you always need to think about recovery, like Thunder said, stretching, making sure you're balancing that vigorous exercise out appropriately. But if you you're getting over 300 minutes a week, more power to you. That's great.

Thunder: I love that term, under-recover. I'm going to remember that one.

Troy: Yeah. I think about that a lot. I really liked that.

Thunder: And as you get older, that's something that legitimately you should think about, because if you don't recover and you're kind of tweaking knees, or back, or this and that, that's a serious disincentive to exercise.

Mitch: So number three is to try to shoot to get some sort of muscle strengthening activity that works all your muscle groups a little harder than you usually do on a day-to-day basis, two or more days a week. So it's not just getting your cardio, doing well with the stuff we had before, but also making sure that your muscles are staying strong and that you're able to do the things that you want to do.

Scot: And muscle strengthening activities, as we've talked about on the podcast, could be a lot of things. It could be resistance bands. That's doing a little bit more work than you'd normally be doing. It could be kettlebells if you like kettlebells. It could be body weight exercises. I mean, if you can't control your body weight in a squat, which at one point I couldn't, or do a lunge, and at one point I couldn't, then that's working your muscles harder.

So don't just think that that strength training or that muscle strengthening activity has to be you go to the gym and you lift the heavy iron.

Thunder: Yeah, that's such a great point, Scot. I bring that up a lot to older people about the benefits of strength training and try to dispel the myth that, "Look, you're 70 years old, but you should be doing some sort of strength training because it's good for you. It's good for your balance." It doesn't have to be you're going in the gym and trying to lift the weights of a 25-year-old. It can be body weight exercises or those exact things that you mentioned. So that's really cool you brought that up.

Scot: And I'm also going to say I used to volunteer at the YMCA in this room called the Nautilus Room, and it was weightlifting machines. We had some elderly clientele that came in that I . . . There were a couple of instances where these individuals were walking with walkers and they couldn't bend down to pick their keys up off the floor if they dropped them. After six months . . . And they didn't use the whole stack, right? They were using maybe a plate or two. It was astounding how much difference that made. I've seen it with my own eyes.

Thunder: Yeah. And that's supported by studies in the literature too. I think it's underestimated. Like you said, you don't need to throw around hundreds of pounds for that. It can literally be light weights as long as it's a routine.

Troy: Scot, I'm going to share with you my strength training routine, and you guys tell me if I'm off here, but this is all I do. I do pushups every day, I do sit ups, I do some squats, and then I'll do some curls or . . . I've got just a pull-up bar. And then along with that, I'll do stretching, foam rolling.

But that's what I do every day. I can do all that and then stretching, I can do all that in about 10 minutes.

I guess by saying this I'm just trying to say that I feel like you can also incorporate this into your routine and, again, it doesn't have to be a huge time investment. I feel like I get a pretty good yield out of that. I'm not going to the gym. I'm not using machines or anything. And I feel like I'm able to maintain some body mass even though I am running a lot as well.

I'm just trying to say that it doesn't have to be a huge time investment. I think it's easy to do body resistance and just some basic weights or a pull-up bar and get that benefit.

Thunder: Yeah. Troy, I think you hit on a good thing too. In my mind, and see what you guys think of this, but I think there's a difference between exercise for maintaining some level of health and mobility versus exercise to improve performance in a specific task or sport.

So exercise to improve sports performance is different. A lot of weights, a lot more time, a lot more intensity. But physical activity/exercise to maintain a general level of health and mobility is not the same as that.

So sometimes people put both of those in the same category and it makes it a little more intimidating to start exercising because they're imagining the Olympic athlete training for the summer Olympics, or winter Olympics, since they're going on right now.

Scot: Or the commercials for the shoes or any of that kind of stuff. Any of the visual images we're seeing in the movies, magazines, TV.

Thunder: Yeah. Like those commercials for sports drinks. I mean, if I trained that hard, I'd drop dead.

Troy: I know. Seriously.

Scot: I actually don't believe that, Thunder. I think you probably do and you're just trying to make us feel better. So thank you for that.

Troy: Exactly. Thanks, Thunder. For me, I am not going for that. I'm not going for bulk. I'm not going for that kind of look. I just want to maintain some muscle mass and not just running a lot and just losing muscle mass. So that's all I'm going for, maintaining muscle mass, maintaining mobility.

Again, like we talked about, I think you just find what works for you. But I think you can do stuff just with a very short period of time just using body resistance and some basic weights or a pull-up bar or something like that.

Mitch: So number four is if you're just starting out, take it slow. And this is one that I really kind of jive with because when I first started running for the very first time, it's so much nicer to start very, very slow and build up to something. You don't have to be running a six-minute mile at the start, right? That's going to make you more prone to injuries. You're going to wear out faster. Just start where you're at and work from there.

And then number five is to always aim for sustainable. The kind of work that you're doing is a lifetime commitment.

Troy: Yeah. And it's a quick point there, but in my mind, that's the number one thing. I just feel like so often we go out and we want to do things and it's a New Year's resolution or we're just going hard and we're like, "I want to just do this vigorous exercise. I'm going to do this every day," and it's just not sustainable.

Thunder talked about it too. You've got to ease into it. You've got to have recovery. So I think sustainability really should be the number one goal. As you get into something or you're trying to increase your exercise, make sure it's something you can do and feel comfortable doing in the long term.

Scot: All right. It's time where we're going to talk about three things that have worked for each of us, whether that's a specific habit, or a mindset, or a change. Hopefully, maybe, this might work for you.

So here's how we're going to go. We're going to just go around the circle here. Each person is going to say one and then we'll move on to the next person. So let's go ahead and start with Thunder.

Thunder: Okay. I'm going to start things off by cheating because I have two things, not three. And maybe my two things can be stretched out, but here they are.

So my number one most important thing is things that are fun. Earlier I talked about how there's some physical activity I do because I have to do it. I've got to take care of things around the house. I have to mow the lawn, things like that. So that counts. But the big one for me is things that are fun.

So all the exercises I do, I do them because I actually enjoy doing them. I look forward to getting on my bike and doing a bike ride. I look forward to skiing. Like you, Scot, I like going to the gym. There are definitely exercises I don't like to do at the gym, but there's a lot of stuff I like to do, and I look forward to that.

That is really important because if you put someone on an exercise plan of stuff they don't like to do, guaranteed it is not going to last no matter how badly they want to get fit, or lose weight, or anything. So that's my number one. Fun, fun, fun. Make sure it's fun.

Scot: Yeah, making it fun. Sustainability, as was mentioned earlier, is probably one of the most important things. So if it's not fun, it's not sustainable. Great one. Troy, what do you have?

Troy: I like it, Thunder. Yeah, make it fun. And who wouldn't want to do something fun every day? The thing for me is to do it every day. That's what works for me. And the reason I do it every day . . . I exercise every day. For me, again, it's running. It's because then I don't say to myself, "Well, I'm going to do it tomorrow," because I know I'm going to do it today. So it's not like I'm like, "I'm going to do this three days a week. I'm going to do it tomorrow," and then I keep putting it off, and then by the end of the week, I've done it maybe once or twice. So that works for me. Just do it every day.

Scot: I don't know how you do it, man. I just don't know how you do it. Mitch, what do you have?

Mitch: So I'm going to start with the idea to focus less on the results and more about the practice of doing the physical activity. That's been the biggest change for me and the biggest thing that has kind of led to me getting more physical activity all the time.

Rather than stepping on that scale every day and being like, "Why am I not losing any weight?" or, "Why am I not like getting jacked?" it's just, "Hey, you have an hour to yourself. You have an hour to work on your body, have an hour to invest in yourself." And that is the biggest bit of successful mind change that I've had in the recent years.

Scot: My first one speaks to a bit of how our culture has defined exercise and, as a result, how I had defined exercise for a long time. And I think also, since it's a men's health podcast, we should talk about how masculinity can kind of mess things up. It's been to alluded to before, but it's redefining what strength training is.

Thunder, I thought you talked about just brilliantly there are two different types of strength training. There's athletic training and then there's training just for life, just to maintain, and just to feel good. And for a long time, I relate to what Mitch said. I wanted to have the Arnold Schwarzenegger body, and then later on in my life, my standards got lower and lower as I went.

Sometimes it's not beneficial to your health, because I would go into the gym and I would lift more weight than I probably was capable of doing. I was compromising my form. I was working out probably more often than I should all in pursuit of this ideal of what exercise should do for you.

And when I first realized that strength training is something that should make me feel good and I should feel energized when I leave the gym and I should be able to do the things I want to do in life and not be not able to squat down for four days later, that's more sustainable. I enjoy it and I don't get stressed about how strong I'm getting.

You can apply this to running as well. It doesn't matter how fast you run or how out of breath you might be. It takes a little bit of swallowing the pride and putting the ego aside. But I'll tell you, if you can do that, for me, that has made a huge difference in the enjoyment that I have in strength training.

Troy: Yeah. Scot, I am convinced that for a lot of us, we are just never going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. There's just no way we could ever bulk up like that. I mean, I don't know how many times in my life I went through these phases and I went to the gym and I'm just like, "I'm just going hard every day and I'm going to look like that." I don't care what I did. I'm not going to look like that.

But it's a good idea, I think, like you said, just to kind of redefine our goals and not necessarily go for that, but just go for that health, go for that capability to do new things and have range of motion and joint health and all those other things that are really important in the long term.

Thunder: In all fairness, I've got to say that Schwarzenegger doesn't look like Schwarzenegger anymore.

Troy: Yeah, that's true.

Thunder: And the image that we're thinking was pharmacologically enhanced.

Scot: Right?

Troy: That's a good point.

Scot: But that's still a thing, right?

Thunder: It's stuck in our brain.

Scot: That is what's portrayed as the epitome of health. The guy that's on the cover of the "Men's Health" magazine, that is what healthy looks like. We talked to Rashago, the bodybuilder, on the podcast. We've realized that takes a lot of work. It takes a gift of genetics. Also, he could look like a normal guy one day and he has to do all sorts of crazy things with his diet to look like the guy on the cover of "Men's Health" magazine.

So I think getting over this notion that that's what we need to look like and that's the means to the end of strength training, that is what's made a big difference to me.

Who did I start with? Did I start with Thunder?

Thunder: Yeah, you started with me. I want to throw one more point in there for us to talk about, and that is another motivation for me . . . and I know this is the same motivation for you, Scot, because you already mentioned it . . . is the joy of movement and being able to do certain things. I can do a squat without losing my balance. I can do 15 pull-ups, things like that. That's like a lot of satisfaction. That's part of what makes it fun, and it adds this like element of joy and appreciation.

So for me, that's an important part of my exercise routine and, like I said, I know you feel the same way, Scot.

I can go mow the lawn even though I hate to do it. It's not a big deal. It doesn't faze me one way or the other because I do enough exercise to be able to do tasks like that. I can pick up my daughter and it doesn't blow out my back, things like that. The joy of being able to move.

Scot: Troy?

Troy: Scot, also another thing that works for me is to bring a dog. Keeping up with the dog.

Scot: I don't even know if you need to expand on that. I think we could just move to Mitch at this point. Bring a dog.

Troy: My larger point there is accountability. I feel accountable to my dog. And there are times when I've asked my myself, "Why am I doing this?" And she gets on the bed at 5:00 in the morning and she lies right against my legs, so she knows when I get up, and then she just watches me. She watches everything I do because she wants to go running.

So I think whatever works for you. If it's friends, whatever form of accountability, I think having that makes exercise a whole lot easier because then you're like, "Hey, it's not just for me. It's for this dog," or this person, or whatever else. I think it makes a big difference.

Thunder: Troy, can you imagine how fit you would be if your dog had longer legs?

Scot: Yeah. Troy has a corgi.

Troy: That's the crazy thing about this corgi. Thunder, I don't know if you know this, this corgi has run a marathon with me.

Thunder: No way.

Troy: She has run a marathon. She's a crazy little beast. She does five miles every day like it's nothing. Yeah, she's a crazy beast. She did it. She loves to run.

Scot: Mitch, go ahead.

Mitch: So mine that took me a while to figure out is to be skeptical of the bros on Reddit.

Scot: [laughs]

Mitch: That is exactly the response we need, because I have had so many bad experiences when I try the way they like to eat, the way they like to work out, the weird . . . They use acronyms like PPLs, and macros, and whatever. And it's like, "Why don't you just find something that works for you?"

These people on the internet don't necessarily know everything and it is much better to find something that works for you, that feels comfortable for you, rather than measuring yourself up against some people that live on the internet talking about fitness.

Scot: And say, "This is what fitness looks like."

Mitch: Yes.

Scot: It comes back to that again, right? That's really what they're selling, is that this is what fitness looks like. And it's not.

Mitch: No.

Scot: It's not. My second one is if you don't know where to start with strength exercises, know these five body movement patterns and do one exercise a day that focuses on each one of them. We learned this from Ernie on our show back on . . . I think it was Episode 24, something like that.

So the movement patterns are push, pull, hip hinge, squat, and then also loaded carry, which is kind of optional. I don't really do that. But we're talking about push, which is your pushups or your shoulder presses. Your pulls are your back exercises, like your rows. Your hip hinges are you're bending at the hips, like your dead lifts, that sort of thing. Squat, pretty self-explanatory. Those are your leg exercises, or you could do lunges. And then if you want to do this loaded carry, that's where you carry around some heavy weight and you walk around with it.

So you can Google the five movement pattern exercises and find all sorts of great ideas, pick one that you like, and just do it for a period of time for each one of those movement patterns.

Thunder, you said you had two. Do you have one more, or no?

Thunder: I already talked about my second one. That was the joy of movement.

Scot: All right. Great. Then we're going to go on to Troy for number three.

Troy: Number three, I'm going to say give yourself an opportunity to look out from the peaks. And by that, I mean now and then we have these cool experiences with exercise. We had an awesome time with Mitch when we prepared for the 5K. And that was like one of the peaks, having the opportunity to do the 5K. He's got family there with him. We're congratulating him. Give yourself a chance to do that. I think it's kind of fun.

By saying that, I don't want to say go for results. You're not necessarily going for, "Well, I need to run this time or I need to do this certain thing." But I think is having an opportunity . . . For me, it's like running races. I'm not doing what I do so that I'm necessarily running certain races or getting certain times, but those are just something else that's . . . It's a reward to do that, and have that opportunity, and have that social aspect of it.

Scot, it was so cool when you were texting me during the Boston Marathon and saying, "Great job." Just to have those opportunities, I think, brings some reward into it.

So whatever you do, try and find those opportunities to kind of look out from the peaks, and then you're back down in the valley doing your daily stuff. But having that, I think, makes it rewarding.

Scot: Have you guys noticed that Troy's all could be put on T-shirts? Run with a dog. Look out from the peaks.

Troy: Look from the peaks. There you go.

Thunder: He's a master of the slogan.

Troy: These are all things I've seen on posters during marathons, along with things like, "You run better than the government," and, "Don't poop your pants," and things like that. You always see great signs in marathons.

Scot: All right. Mitch, number three. Oh, go ahead. Who's jumping in with what?

Thunder: That was me. I just thought of a third. I don't know why I didn't think about this earlier because it's definitely one of my keys to exercise. That is the social aspect. I have a group of friends I ski with. I ski with my wife. I have a group of friends and my wife that I go biking with. I have friends that I meet at the gym. We may not do the same exercises, but we kind of pass each other and do a high five. So there's a big social aspect that also as a motivator. I would look for that as well.

Troy: Thunder, would you high five me if I came to the gym when you're there?

Thunder: It depends how many people are around us.

Troy: It depends who else is there.

Thunder: Oh, absolutely I'd high five you.

Troy: It depends how few bars I have on my bench press machine.

Thunder: No, I'd be proud. I'd say, "This is Troy, and we're just friends. I don't want to see him in a professional capacity."

Troy: That's right. There you go.

Scot: Hey, Troy. Will Smith squatted the bar. So can you.

Troy: That's right.

Scot: You've got to swallow . . .

Troy: Will Smith made us all feel better.

Scot: Swallow your pride.

Troy: That's right.

Scot: Mitch, number three.

Mitch: So number three for me is just to be a little mindful and remind yourself how much better you'll feel afterwards. For me, I will get in a funk. I will not be feeling my absolute best self. And I know if I just take that hour to walk even, just walk around the block for an hour, I'm going to feel better afterwards.

And I used to be one of those people that rolled my eyes at all those people that were like, "It's the high. I love it." You're not going for a high. I don't get the high. I just feel generally better afterwards.

And if you focus when you do feel that way and remind yourself about that, it suddenly becomes a lot easier to get motivated, to get disciplined, to get out and do something.

Scot: That's right. You'll never regret physical activity.

Mitch: Unless you injure yourself.

Scot: Well, yes. That's true.

Troy: Or get frostbite.

Scot: See, I'm trying to . . . You guys, I'm trying to write shirts like Troy and you're ruining it for me.

Mitch: I'm sorry.

Troy: There are some exceptions.

Scot: All right. My number three, and this speaks to activity as a way to do the things that you want to do, is to get those nagging issues handled that might keep you away from doing the things that you want to do.

Early on in the podcast, we talked about a video from a Hollywood trainer who trains stars that are going to go into the movies, like the Chris Pratts and the guys that play Captain America and Thor and the Angelina Jolies. And he said the first thing he does with all of those people is he finds out what weaknesses, imbalances, or any sort of problems that they have. Bad knee, bad shoulder. You've got to rehab that first.

I've had some things in my life that I've gone to physical therapy for. They gave me the physical therapy exercises. For a long time, I thought they were ridiculous. I didn't do them. But lately, I've been doing them every morning. And I'll tell you what, it makes my experience when I go lift weights better. I'm a stronger runner now as a result of it and I just generally feel better.

So if you've got some sort of a nagging issue . . . Nobody wants to walk when their knee hurts. Nobody wants to do stuff off if it's painful. It's worth the money spend if your insurance doesn't cover it or if you don't have insurance. Get the exercise, get the analysis, and then do them. It's huge. And that's an investment in your future as well so you're not that hunched-over old person.

All right. Well, I think we had a lot of good tips there. Everybody feeling pretty good with theirs, or are you going to want to trade yours for somebody else's?

Thunder: I feel pretty good with mine. I think it's kind of cool, too, to have a dialogue of kind of regular guys talking about physical activity. Not that Reddit moment like Mitch was talking about or things you see in social media, but just regular normal people talking about what works and what doesn't work and what realistic goals are. I think there needs to be more of that conversation out there.

Scot: If you want to be a part of the conversation, it's really easy to do. What works for you? What do you like? What don't you like? What piece of advice would you share?

Troy: Yeah. Email us, We're on Facebook, Call us on our listener line 601-55SCOPE. Our website is We'd love to hear from you.

Like Thunder said, I think this is the dialogue that needs to happen. Not someone on Reddit, not something like that, just people who are trying to make exercise part of their routine, make it sustainable. Let us know what you're doing and what works for you.

Scot: Be sure to tune in to the nutrition episode, which was number one in our series of five, if you haven't checked that out, the Return to Basics Core Four.

And then the next episode, we're going to talk about sleep. If you're struggling with sleep, what you can do about that.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for caring about men's health.

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