The Ultimate Anti-Aging Regimen
Is 60 the new 40? Is 40 the new 30? I had this spirited debate with a friend just the other day… her parting words were “All I know is that I am 60 and I feel 60!”
I started thinking about this and realized that it’s not the age or number we think about, it’s the characteristics that we associate with aging that we find troubling—weight gain, postural and balance issues, joint pain, and the battle against gravity.
But guess what? Many of the things we associate with age are preventable and can be reversed.
What do you need to do? Get moving! Physical activity keeps you young by improving balance, mobility, strength, and stamina and reducing your stress levels as well as your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
To stay strong and lean at any age you need to include four key areas in your health and wellness program: cardio, strength training, balance, and flexibility.
Cardio increases your heart and lung strength (think stamina and endurance), and burns fat. Examples of cardio are walking, jogging, Zumba, exercising on the elliptical or treadmill, etc.
Another key factor in your anti-aging regimen is strength training. Think “I don’t care what it weighs, as long as it doesn’t move.”
Strength training is the best way to re-shape your body. It’s absolutely necessary to create visual changes, but the benefits of strength training extend far beyond the visual.
Strength training creates strong muscles, ligaments and tendons, which support your joints and decrease the likelihood of injury from other activities. Bone density increases dramatically, greatly reducing your risk of osteoporosis.
Women who do not strength train lose about 5 pounds of muscle every decade of adult life. That leads to a slower metabolism and a gradual increase in fat weight (about 15 pounds per decade), as well as a less fit, firm, and attractive appearance.
Strength training is the fountain of youth. Don’t worry, you won’t bulk up, it’s physiologically impossible. Testosterone is responsible for a muscle’s bulk, and women simply do not have enough of this predominantly male hormone to build bulging muscles.
And certainly don’t wait until you lose weightstrength training will help you lose weight!
The last two pieces of the puzzle are balance and flexibility training. Balance starts to decline when you are in your forties. If you’re not active and don’t do any activities to work on balance, by the time you reach your sixties you’re likely to have balance so poor you compensate by adopting a “shuffling gait,” using short steps to avoid standing on one foot.
Can balance be learned and trained? You bet your sweet bippy! Think of children learning how to walk or adults learning how to walk after an illness or injury.
Finally, stretching and other flexibility work become more important as you get older. Once again, this is a “use it or lose it” area of exercise. The less you work on flexibility the tighter you become. The tighter you become, the less range of motion you have and you become more susceptible to injury.
Yoga and Pilates are wonderful for developing strength, flexibility and balance. Don’t say you’re too stiff to do yoga and Pilates—that’s precisely the reason why you should!
I would be remiss if I did not touch on one final point—nutrition is key. As the saying goes, “if you’re not keeping a food journal on what you eat, your body is.”
All things are possible; you just have to get started. If you’re ready to get going or have any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional posts by Charmaine Gordon
- 12 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain, 07 Dec 2012 in Health & Wellness
- Breast Cancer: The Importance of Early Detection and What You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk, 23 Oct 2012 in Health & Wellness
- Curb Your Appetite: Strategies that Quiet the Beast Within, 31 Jan 2012 in Health & Wellness
- Breast Cancer: Early Detection Is the Key, 28 Sep 2011 in Health & Wellness
- FAT: Six Reasons to Get It Off and Keep It Off, 08 Aug 2011 in Health & Wellness
- 12 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain, 03 Dec 2010 in Health & Wellness
- Stop Midlife Weight Gain—Metabolism 101, 08 Oct 2010 in Health & Wellness
- 15 Easy Ways To Blast Fat & Jumpstart Your Metabolism, 12 Aug 2010 in Health & Wellness