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“The reason I exercise is for the quality of life I enjoy.”

- Kenneth H. Cooper

The Daily Tonic is a two to five minute read sharing science backed health news and tips, all while getting you to crack a smile or even _ lol _on occasion.

Wednesday. It’s midweek, so why not try something different. We talk about food and nutrition a lot on the Daily Tonic, but we don’t really talk about exercise and fitness too often. Well, today is the day. How should we be moving our bodies in order to feel good, look good, and maximize longevity according to the science? Let’s dive in!

How Should I Fitness For Fat Loss?

That’s a complicated question and there isn’t a single right answer. To better answer that question, let’s assume your only goal with fitness is fat loss. At the end of the day, that is what many people’s intentions with exercise really boil down to—we want to look leaner. And even if looking leaner is not top of mind, keeping body fat on the lower end is also an essential component in optimizing health and promoting longevity. Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery. There is an overwhelming number of fitness programs, apps, gym chains, and gadgets out there promising fat loss. Should you Zumba, CrossFit, train for a marathon, or just join your local Planet Fitness? Even though there may not be a single right answer, let’s agree that a gym that gives you free pizza and free bagels just isn’t the best answer. That is just about as bad of an idea as using doughnuts or french fries to incentivize people to get their covid-19 vaccine… ok, we are getting sidetracked. Back to fitness and fat loss. On a more serious note, strength training is one aspect of fitness that is often overlooked. The common misconception is that strength training and heavier weights will inevitably make you bulky and should only be incorporated if your goal is to put on significant muscle mass. Let’s unpack that a bit. First off, we should all be looking to put on or at least maintain muscle in order to burn fat. The more muscle you have, the more fat your body will burn. Second, it is incredibly difficult to put on significant bulk through strength training. There are bodybuilders that dedicate themselves to the pursuit of building muscle with incredibly rigorous training and strict dieting protocols, and even they sometimes struggle to build significant mass. Strength training is also a key component in regulating blood sugar. One of the biggest reasons people struggle to lose fat is because of chronic inflammation. When you overload your body with stress from poor sleep and a hectic lifestyle, as well as over-produce inflammatory chemicals from the consumption of ultra-processed carbohydrates and vegetable oils, it can lead to a never-ending battle to lose weight. Constant spikes in blood sugar are a major contributor to chronic inflammation. Research suggests that when you strength train, you increase your ability to drive glucose into muscle tissue, which decreases blood glucose levels and increases insulin sensitivity. This means you can control blood sugar and reduce the storage of sugar as fat by incorporating regular strength training into your fitness routine. So where do you start? An Ideal routine to shoot for is the one outlined by Mark Sisson in this blog post—two strength sessions, 1-2 sprint/interval sessions, and 3-5 hours of walking or low level cardio per week. But if you want to take the guesswork out of coming up with a routine like that, you can also check out this new fitness app by NCFIT. You can follow different workout tracks that incorporate strength training and sprint/interval work for a great fat loss approach to fitness.

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Food Waste Is a BIG PROBLEM

It never ceases to surprise me how much food goes to waste in the U.S. In case you aren’t on Tik Tok, here is a recent video recorded by a Dunkin Doughnuts employee that went viral showing just how much food gets thrown out DAILY at this single DD location. Now multiply that in your head by all the DD locations in the U.S and then add all the other locations like Starbucks, Panera’s, and the like that probably end up tossing just as much food out every single day. One of the biggest criticisms of regenerative agriculture is that the system would never be able to feed our entire population. It just isn't scalable. Well, the food waste problem should be a sign that we can absolutely feed an entire population with more environmentally friendly ways of producing food. Our current system now is producing so much excess and waste. If we could just curtail some of that waste and shift resources to producing healthier food using sustainable methods, we would absolutely be better off.

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Health isn’t just about _ food, movement, and mindset . It is also about the_ _ interactions _we have and what we _ share with our fellow humans._

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