Superhuman Muscular Endurance, Rucking & Two Necessities For A Happy Life
Today marks the 50th Edition of the Longevity Minded newsletter! Thanks for being here with me.
Here is your weekly dose of Longevity Minded, 3 things I’m exploring in the realms of longevity and simple living this week.
Let’s dive in.
🫀 Live Longer
Build Superhuman Muscular Endurance: Nickels & Dimes
Start the timer on your phone.
Every minute on the minute, complete 5 pull-ups and 10 push-ups.
The workout is done when you fail to complete 5 pull-ups and 10 push-ups within one minute.
After hearing about this protocol from my brother, I tried it for the first time last week.
I failed on the 25th minute after completing 240 push-ups and 120 pull-ups in a span of 24 minutes.
I’ll be back for more.
💪 Feel Healthier
7 Reasons Why Rucking Might Be The Singular Best Exercise For Longevity (No Matter Your Age, Sex, Or Fitness Level)
If I could only do ONE exercise for the rest of my life, it would probably be rucking.
Rucking: the action of walking with weight (a rucksack) on your back.
Here are 7 reasons why:
1) It's simple.
In a society where we are constantly convinced that the answer to our problems is to "add new" and "do more," I am a proponent of simple (subtraction-focused if possible) solutions.
Rucking is simple. Put on a rucksack (which is a heavy-duty backpack) with weight in it and walk. You can even do it while waking with your dog, friends, partner, or kids.
2) It gets you outside.
As ancient wisdom preaches and modern science confirms, time spent in nature is good for us.
Among many other benefits, spending time outdoors increases our calmness and happiness, restores our attention and concentration, and reduces symptoms of anxiety, depression, and irritability.
3) It improves your posture.
Bearing the load from a rucksack pulls your shoulders back, reinforcing good posture and building a strong back.
We all spend far too much time hunched over a keyboard. Rucking is much-needed posture alignment therapy.
4) It increases bone density.
Bone density is critically important in old age.
For many elderly people, a fall can be deadly. In fact, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among adults aged 65 and older.
Build high bone density now to decrease your risk of a fatal fall in old age.
5) Humans are built for carrying.
Evolutionarily, humans are built to be really good at two things:
Walking and running long distances in the heat.
Throughout our long evolution, we made a lot of sacrifices to develop the adaptations that make us really good at these two things.
Rucking aligns with what our bodies were designed to do. It just makes sense.
6) It trains both cardiovascular and strength systems.
Rucking is a form of exercise that merges strength with cardio and endurance training.
That means going for a ruck will provide a wider range of benefits to your overall health and fitness. In essence, rucking is really good at strengthening your heart and lungs, melting fat, and preserving muscle.
Bonus: You can burn up to 3x more calories rucking than walking.
7) It has a much lower risk of injury than running.
I suffered from a running-induced knee injury this year and it took a long time to rehab.
With every step you run, your knees experience a force of about 8x your body weight. And weight matters. Just look at the best runners, they’re almost always feather-light.
For example, Eliud Kipchoge, regarded as the greatest marathon runner of all time and the first person to run a sub-2-hour marathon, weighs just 52 kg or 115 lbs.
With walking, your knees experience a force of about 3x your weight. And since rucking is just walking with more weight, then you can simply add the weight of the rucksack to your body weight and multiply the sum by three to arrive at the total force on your knees.
It will be much less than 8x your body weight (which is the force exerted while running).
And I’m not saying you should stop running, it will still be part of my protocol, but rucking provides a lower-impact tool in your toolkit.
🧠 Cultivate Purpose
The Two Necessities For A Happy Life: A Life Partner and True Friends
According to Arthur Brooks, Ph.D. and professor at Harvard University, everyone needs at least one of two things (if not both) to be happy: a life partner and/or true friends.
“And love truly is the great secret to happiness” ‒ Arthur Brooks, Ph.D.
One of the most important ingredients for a happy life is having a lifelong partnership with somebody who will be by your side as you take your dying breath.
Arthur teaches his students that this partnership must be a friendship. You must be best friends with your spouse and have beliefs, passions, and activities in common that you can share together.
Couples should practice interests together, read the same things, and develop philosophical interests in common. Being on the same philosophical journey together creates a strong bond and affirms a set of shared beliefs, values, and goals.
Just as the key to consistency is discipline and not motivation, the recipe for creating a beautiful life with your partner is friendship and not passion alone.
Some people can be very happy with no spouse as long as they have very close, personal lifelong friends.
However, most people need both.
There are three levels of friendship, the last of which generates our true happiness:
Friendships of Transaction
These are the people you work with or carpool to take each other’s kids to school.
You are probably friends in the sense that you like and don’t want to offend each other, but as soon as one of you changes jobs or your kids leave the same school, the friendship will likely come to an end.
Relationships of Admiration
These are relationships in which you admire each other based on a particular quality.
Maybe you admire each other for being thought leaders in your respective industries or for being the two fittest people at your gym.
Friendships of Virtue
Friendships of virtue are true friends.
These are relationships that are inherently satisfying. You genuinely enjoy being together. The time you spend together will often revolve around some third thing like golf or hiking, but as you focus on that third thing you are building a very deep and beautiful friendship.
You share common beliefs and passions that you talk about a lot. You are vulnerable with each other and are open and willing to have deep, personal discussions. You know what’s going on in each other’s lives and are able to safely share secrets.
So, what undiscovered beliefs, activities, and passions do you have in common with your partner or true friends?
And how can you start sharing those experiences together?
And, as always, please give me feedback. Which section is your favorite? What do you want more or less of? Other suggestions? Just hit reply to this email and let me know.
Much love to you and yours,
P.S. If you enjoyed today’s newsletter, follow me @jackrossdixon on Twitter for daily tweets and threads on how to live longer, feel healthier, and cultivate purpose while living simply.