Specific exercise to avoid disease and live longer with Dr Paul Taylor The Proof with Simon Hill podcast episode 229

Specific exercise to avoid disease and live longer | Dr Paul Taylor

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In Episode #229, I’m joined by Paul Taylor to discuss how to exercise to live better for longer.

“Sublethal exposures to intermittent stressors – that is the key.”

Over the past month, The Proof has increasingly explored the role of exercise in relation to long-term health outcomes. In today’s episode, we build on previous conversations with an overarching goal: to consolidate our learning so far, giving you practical and tangible information to implement into your own lifestyle. Paul Taylor offers his advice on how to better your personal exercise routine through realistic recommendations, setting you up for a long health span.

Paul Taylor is an exercise physiologist, nutritionist, and neuroscientist. With an intriguing career spanning the British Royal Navy, professional boxing, leadership, and much more, Paul is relentless in his pursuit to understand the human mind, body, and brain. Paul is currently completing a PhD in Applied Psychology, where he is developing and testing resilience strategies with the Australian Defence Science Technology Group and The University of Newcastle.

“The current human genome requires and expects us to be highly physically active for normal functioning.”

In Episode #229, we build on previous learning to form a cohesive picture of how to improve health span through exercise. We cover the importance of intermittent stressors, the relative impact of nutrition and exercise, and the significance of biological evolution in health. Paul also breaks down exactly how to build an exercise regimen, with considerations for age and gender.

Specifically, we discuss:

  • Intro (0:00)
  • Paul’s Navy Experience (4:32)
  • Good Stress (9:28)
  • Paul’s Boxing (21:22)
  • Exercise vs Nutrition – What Matters More? (25:56)
  • Cardiovascular Fitness (34:58)
  • Myokines and Longevity (40:03)
  • How Much Exercise? (49:25)
  • Referencing Biological Evolution (54:10)
  • A Multi-Modal Exercise Plan (59:56)
  • Age & Gender Training (1:13:18)
  • Death by Comfort (1:24:46)
  • Outro (1:27:38)

This episode offers precise, useful information to help you improve your health. Remember these components for a multi-modal training program to optimise health span:

  • Resistance training at least twice a week
  • Steady state exercise (Zone 2) at least 1-2 times a week
  • High intensity interval training at least once a week
  • Exercise snacks daily
  • Mobility and stability – this is where free weight resistance training and single leg exercises can be very beneficial, along with other modalities such as yoga, pilates, etc.
  • For a combined goal of ~2.5 hours of exercise per week, minimum.

I hope you find this conversation empowering and implement some of these tips into your own life. Stay tuned for another episode with Paul Taylor, where we will look at the behavioural changes that can elevate your health and lifestyle.

To connect with Paul Taylor, you can find him on Instagram or LinkedIn. Listen to his podcast, The MindBodyBrain Project, and learn more on his website. Paul’s new book, Death by Comfort, is now available for preorder.

The best way to support the show is to use the products and services offered by our sponsors. To check them out, and enjoy great savings, visit theproof.com/friends.

Make sure to check out the resources below once you’ve listened.

Enjoy, friends.


More about Paul Taylor

A former British Royal Navy Aircrew Officer, Paul is an Exercise Physiologist, Nutritionist and Neuroscientist who is currently completing a PhD in Applied Psychology, where he is developing and testing resilience strategies with the Australian Defence Science Technology Group & The University of Newcastle.

He is the Director of The Mind-Body-Brain Performance Institute, where he delivers resilience, leadership and executive performance workshops to companies such as J&J, Oracle, SAP, PWC, NAB, CBA, BUPA, Medibank and the Australian Military.

In 2010 Paul created and co-hosted the TV series Body and Brain Overhaul and he appeared regularly on The Biggest Loser TV series as a subject matter expert. In 2010 and 2015, he was voted Australian Fitness Industry presenter of the year.

Paul is the host of The MindBodyBrain Project Podcast and his latest venture is The Resilient Mind, an online program and App that is currently used by a number of Corporations and has proven benefits for resilience, mental wellbeing and levels of burnout of participants.

Paul has a proven track record in Leadership and dealing in high-pressure situations, through his former roles as an Airborne Anti-submarine Warfare Officer and a Helicopter Search-And-Rescue Crew Member with the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm.

He has undergone rigorous Military Combat Survival and Resistance-to-Interrogation Training and in 2012, he became a professional boxer. In 2019, he took up Karate to create memories with his kids and in 2021, both Paul and his 10-year old Oscar became Australian Kumite Champions.

Reference charts

VO2 targets by age group

Aim for above average or better. Remember, the biggest reduction in all-cause mortality is achieved by going from low to below average – which means if you do nothing now, just doing a little bit will make a lot of difference.

Source: PMID: 30646252


Aim for good or higher to improve health outcomes.

Source: PMID: 30646252

Supporting studies

  • A progressive shuttle run test to estimate maximal oxygen uptake • PMID: 3228681
  • Ability to sit and rise from the floor as a predictor of all-cause mortality • PMID: 23242910
  • Association between consumption of ultra-processed foods and all cause mortality: SUN prospective cohort study • PMID: 31142450
  • Association of Cardiorespiratory Fitness With Long-term Mortality Among Adults Undergoing Exercise Treadmill Testing • PMID: 30646252
  • Deaths from Falls Among Persons Aged ≥65 Years – United States, 2007-2016 • PMID: 29746456
  • Exercise as medicine – evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy in 26 different chronic diseases • PMID: 26606383
  • Exercise Controls Gene Expression • Professor Frank Booth, American Scientist
  • Exercise-Induced Myokines can Explain the Importance of Physical Activity in the Elderly: An Overview • PMID: 33019579
  • Falls in Older Persons: Risk Factors and Prevention • in The Second Fifty Years: Promoting Health and Preventing Disability
  • Gendered movement ecology and landscape use in Hadza hunter-gatherers • PMID: 33398143
  • Muscle tissue changes with aging • PMID: 15192443
  • Muscle-Organ Crosstalk: The Emerging Roles of Myokines • PMID: 32393961
  • Muscle-strengthening activities are associated with lower risk and mortality in major non-communicable diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies • PMID: 35228201
  • Physical activity patterns and biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk in hunter-gatherers • PMID: 27723159
  • Physical Activity, All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality, and Cardiovascular Disease • PMID: 31095084
  • The association of grip strength from midlife onwards with all-cause and cause-specific mortality over 17 years of follow-up in the Tromsø Study • PMID: 27229009

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