Lose weight with carbs. Senior workouts that stick. “Hipster Richard Simmons.” Health and fitness stories dominated headlines this week. But if you’re anything like us, you found it hard to catch all the news you wanted to. Here’s our weekly roundup of the trending fitness stories you might have missed over the last few days.
When working out is where the party’s at
Mark Hunter, known as The Cobrasnake in the 2000s, used to be known for photographing fun and provocative scenes from some of the top clubs and parties across Los Angeles—and becoming the life of the party and something of a legend. Years later, with a wealth of prime photos of top celebs in their pre-fame days to his credit, he’s created a new kind of club to make sure the party lives on. And in this club, he’s coined himself the “Hipster Richard Simmons.”
Cobra Fitness Club brings together models, stylists and creative that he’s met over the years as a photographer, as well as anyone wanting a good time while getting in shape. By pumping some great rave tunes that get people running up a mountain, the free-spirited Hunter is making fitness fun from the canyons to the mountaintops—and photographing people getting a whole new kind of high.
In LA in particular, Hunter’s philosophy is countercultural. Said Hunter, “I’m not in the best shape, but I’m in great shape. People don’t want to be told, you need to have a six-pack, and you need to shave your chest and be tan. There are other physiques. I can still run far, and I can still have fun. And so people relate to me in that way. And then they also love that I’m making a movement where it goes beyond just me and having to work out with me. I want people to know that they can do this in their own communities. And it’s about just getting outside. Because we’re stuck on our phones and computers and our desk jobs. There’s so much if you just go outside.”
Sometimes age does matter
It’s easy to move in and out of fitness routines and regimens, particularly when we aren’t seeing the results we want, or as fast as we want. But a new study shows that seniors are more likely to stick with a workout regimen if they do it in a group of people. But not just any people. The results suggested that when seniors worked out with people of their same ages, they were more likely to stick with it.
Why are these findings important? Seniors are increasingly falling off the fitness wagon as they age due to things like inertia, self-efficacy, health problems and fears of injury, to name a few. While senior activity tends to be low throughout the world, in North American activity levels are particularly low among the elderly. Less than 15% of adults 59+ meet the international guidelines for physical activity. And the numbers are faltering throughout the rest of the world as well.
Working out is vital for all our good health. But it holds a host of health benefits for seniors, so don’t lay down your running shoes or hand weights just yet. Working out in your senior years can increase longevity and quality of life. Senior fitness can help maintain bone density, and give you more confidence and independence. One study found that regular exercise cuts the risk of hip fractures significantly. Another study found that older adults who didn’t exercise were more likely to develop dementia.
Finding a way to encourage senior adults to get and stay active is important—and the findings of this study may just pave the way for the rise of even more senior-specific workout classes.
Want to lose weight? Eat (some) carbs
Carbs have been known to strike fear in health and fitness aficionados around the world who want to lose weight and look their best. Fear of carbs has fueled low carb or no carb fads like the Atkins and South Beach diets as well as the Ketogenic diet. But carbs aren’t all bad. Prepare to get carb-wise about what you should be doing so you can lose weight and enjoy your carbs too—because they are, after all, a vital component of good fitness and energy.
It turns out that between 45-65% of an average diet should consist of carbs. That number can vary based on your specific workout routines and goals. Dietician Lori Zanini says to stick to the lower end of that range for weight loss, though to make sure you’re eating at least the Recommended Dietary Allowance of 130 grams of carbs per day.
But before you go indulging in your next double-bunned burger or donut party, remember that not all carbs are created equal. Focusing on “good carbs” (complex carbs) for your carb intake can boost your diet and fuel your activity and goals. The bad carbs tend to process quickly and leave you reaching for more of a bad thing. Good carbs take longer to process, providing a steadier stream of fuel for your workout. Good, complex carbs include foods like fruits and grains—but in moderation.
Zanini doesn’t recommend pure protein diets or eating protein-only meals. Instead, she recommends eating a balanced diet of proteins, (good) carbs and (good) fats to give your body what it needs to fuel itself for weight loss.