Don’t just get in shape for the summer—keeping fit for the rest of your life is the key to fighting off the “disease of aging,” according to Dr. Brett Osborn, neurosurgeon and author of Get Serious, A Neurosurgeon’s Guide to Optimal Health and Fitness.
Trained at New York University, Dr. Osborn is a board-certified neurological surgeon with a secondary certification in Anti-Ageing and Regenerative Medicine. He also received the CSCS honorarium from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He does not believe in the nonsensical, fancy, overpriced gadgetry often touted by fitness experts—he believes the best answer is a straightforward workout regimen.
“Our ability to fight off disease resides in our muscles,” says Dr. Osborn. “The greatest thing you can do for your body is to build muscle.”
Citing from a large, long-term study focused on nearly 9,000 men ages 20 to 80, Dr. Osborn says after 19 years, the men who were still alive had the most muscular strength. Muscle, which is all protein, is, “nothing but good for you,” Dr. Osborn says. Conversely, fat is an endocrine organ which releases hormones and chemicals. Too much excess fat can lead to a disrupted flow of excess biochemical and a multitude of health problems.
Dr. Osborn offered five basic tips, which he says are the pillars of a solid training regime:
The squat: A basic movement–it is the one around which your training should be centered. It traumatizes numerous muscular structures, including your biceps, which means it works out your whole body.
The overhead press: This is meant for your shoulders, arm extenders and chest. You also work out your lower body as you counter the force of the dumbbell supported by the trainee.
The deadlift: This is centered on your hamstrings, buttocks, and your lumbar extensors and quadriceps, which are the large muscles on your backside and the front of your thighs. This exercise also stresses your upper back muscles, which contrasts with the squat. Some consider deadlifts to be the most complete training exercise.
The bench press: This mostly focuses on the chest, shoulders and triceps. This is the most popular among weightlifters and is very simple to perform. The motion of pushing the barbell off the lower chest until the arms are straight will stress not only the upper body, but the lower body too as it stabilizes your entire body.
The pull-up/chin-up: This stresses the upper body muscles. A pull up is done when hands grip over the bar and a chin-up is done when hands grip under the bar. Nine out of 10 people cannot perform this exercise because they haven’t put in the effort, but many don’t realize how feasible this exercise is.
For more information about Dr. Brett Osborn and his book, Get Serious, A Neurosurgeon’s Guide to Optimal Health and Fitness, visit www.drbrettosborn.com.