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10 Fit12 Fitness Secrets to Slow the Aging Process
Right now medical science is discovering why and how the human body ages. Recent discoveries on the hormonal and genetic control of the aging process have brought about many new possibilities to "slow down the clock". One tried and true anti-aging method is exercise. Here are some tips on how to exercise and stay young:
* Resistance training such as weight lifting can increase lean muscle mass which normally declines as we age. More muscle means a stronger body and a higher metabolic rate. Resistance training can raise your metabolic rate more than any other type of exercise.
* As you age your metabolism slows down. A short interval training session (alternating periods of hard work followed by recovery work) or weight training will substantially boost your metabolic rate more than 24 hours after exercise.
* Heart function deteriorates with age so it's necessary to give your heart muscle a regular workout. Short interval training (12-20 minutes) is great for the average healthy adult. If you are a beginner or have certain degenerative diseases start at a slower intensity.
*Increasing your lung volume is also an anti-aging effect of exercise. Intense exercise where you use your lungs to their fullest extent will best increase lung volume. Again, beginners start less intensely.
* Intense exercise has a positive effect on several hormone levels. Most notable is human growth hormone. Growth hormone declines with age but regular intense exercise and good sleep can increase the level of growth hormone resulting in more lean muscle mass, a decrease in body fat, improved mood and memory, more energy, increased skin thickness, higher bone density and increased sex drive.
* Perspiring during exercise brings moisture, circulation and nutrients to the skin's surface keeping it more youthful. It also helps the skin slough dead cells naturally leaving fresh new skin to shine through.
* Provided you are not overtraining, exercise can also lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone which can contribute to anxiety and fat gain. While cortisol rises immediately post- exercise, it later declines to below pre-exercise levels as long as other stressors in your life are kept to a minimum.
* Exercise exerts a similar response on insulin, another fat storage hormone, and one that causes diabetes.
* As we age our susceptability to disease goes up. Most kinds of exercise have been shown to enhance the immune system to include increasing white blood cells which fight disease.
* Weightbearing and resistance exercise both increase bone density reducing osteoporosis that develops with age.
* Aerobic, interval and weight training modes of exercise all increase specific neurotransmittors in the brain whch elevate mood, decrease depression and alleviate anxiety.
* Millions of Americans suffer from insomnia. Regular exercise, especially if performed at the same time each day, can improve sleep quality. A full nights' rest is important for many reasons including the fact that most of your natural growth hormone is produced while you sleep.
As you can see, exercise is indeed the fountain of youth. The best news is you don't have spend hours a day to reap the benefits. New research has clearly shown that if the intensity is high enough as little as 15-20 minutes 4-5 times a week is all you need to do to look younger and feel younger.
About the Author: Dr. Lanny Schaffer is an Exercise Physiologist and the President of The International Fitness Academy. For more cutting edge fitness ideas go to http://www.aerobic-exercise-coach.com