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Friday
Mar092018

The 3 Best Anti-aging Workouts

You may be at a place in life where you’re feeling like, “How did I get here? And how can I possibly gain back what I once had?” Or maybe you’re just starting to experience what your future may hold if you don’t change things up and implement healthy habits.

Best-case scenario is that you’re proactively reading this to learn what you can start doing today to reap benefits for decades to come. Because, newsflash: after age 30, inactive individuals may begin to lose as much as 3 to 5 percent of muscle mass per decade, a condition known as sarcopenia.

Antiaging isn’t just about finding the best facial serum to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, or the best abdominal crunches to beat the belly fat that came along on your recent year’s journey through life. Rather, antiaging is taking ownership of your health to ensure quality of life — and it can start at any age.

As a personal trainer, there are three specific workouts I suggest adding to your routine. They will not only reverse or prevent the effects of muscle loss, but will also keep your body and mind healthy, so you can continue to do what you love for as long as possible.  


1. H I I T

HIIT has been shown to be an effective way to exercise to aid in fat loss and improve athletic performance. And recent studies indicate it may also have antiaging benefits specifically related to our cells’ mitochondrial activity.

As we age, the mitochondria in our cells decline in activity. Mitochondria are the source of nearly 90 percent of the body’s energy needed to sustain organ function and life. However, factors such as toxins, low-grade inflammation and a poor diet may slowly make mitochondria dysfunctional. Why does this matter? Because this process may also then impact the capacity and size of your muscles, energy levels and your body’s ability to utilize sugar.

A Mayo Clinic study assessed two training groups (ages 18 to 30 and 65 to 80) and assigned three months of either HIIT, resistance training or a combination of the two. They learned that the typical decline in mitochondrial activity ceased, and even reversed in the group of older adults (65 to 80) that had completed the HIIT interval training.

In fact, it improved mitochondrial activity by 69% in the older adults group and 49% in the younger group.1 In other words, after HIIT, the 65- to 80-year-old group handled energy and functioned closer to the younger individuals’ cells.

Other studies on HIIT have shown its ability to improve fat mass, total body mass, trunk fat, and insulin resistance2 — all of which impact overall health and vitality.

Try out a HIIT workout this week and get in a great workout in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. After a metabolic warm-up, sprint for 30 seconds and then walk for 60 seconds. Repeat 6 to 8 times, then properly cool down, stretch and refuel to aid recovery.

 

2. P I L A T E S 

As we age, some of the most common medical complaints are associated with osteoarthritis and pain in the lower back and neck. Pilates has been shown to help decrease back pain and improve physical ability when integrated into a training program. For example, after a 4-week Pilates program study, subjects with chronic low back pain between the ages of 20 and 55 years old, reported a significant decrease in their low-back pain and disability, which was maintained over a 12-month follow-up period.3

Designed by Joseph Pilates, this form of exercise originally helped to facilitate the recovery and strength of fellow internees during World War I. He believed that utilizing full, deep breaths and using the mind to control muscles in slow and controlled movements would not only improve physical health, but would also enhance energy and cognitive abilities by getting proper oxygen to the cells.

Pilates can be done on the mat or on an apparatus called, the reformer. Combining controlled movements along with special breathing techniques and concentration, Pilates helps to build long, lean muscles, and it has become a renowned favorite of people of all ages and abilities.

Pilates is also preventative, as it works to realign the spine and correct muscular imbalances throughout the body, developing a body less prone to injury. Teaching control of the body paired with balance, Pilates benefits many other areas in life aside from just physical strength, coordination and flexibility. It is a complete body-and-mind experience that may also help to relieve stress and improve mood. 

The growing evidence helps show that this unique style of exercise may serve as a phenomenal option to help increase muscular strength and stability for a wide range of ages and abilities. If you’re looking for a fun and different type of exercise, definitely give Pilates a try. For more information on how to get started, click here.

 

3. R E S I S T A N C E  T R A I N I N G

We’re told from a young age to drink more milk to help build strong bones, yet rarely is resistence training — one of the best methods of increasing bone strength — recommended to us (especially as we age). 

Peak bone mass is achieved in our late adolescent years, proving the importance of maintaining and optimizing it throughout adulthood. Weight-bearing exercise that places stress on bone (e.g., strength training) triggers our body’s natural response to help form additional bone, a process referred to as bone remodeling.4 One research study demonstrated a 9 percent increase in spinal bone mass in postmenopausal women after a yearlong strength-training program. In addition, the women who did not participant in strength training (the control group) experienced a decrease in bone density.5

We’ve all heard the saying, “Use it or lose it.” This study is a prime example, and it brings to life the importance of resistance training, specifically in regard to bone mass. Similarly, as your muscles get weaker and smaller, your bones and joints have less support which may lead not only to a decline in strength, but also becoming more prone to injury.

Putting stress on your muscles (via resistance training) signals the body to recover and repair the miniscule (positive damage), then rebuild and become stronger. This cyclical process prepares our muscles for future stressors, specifically when we’re relying on our strength in times of need (e.g., getting ourselves up from a fall).

Resistance training doesn’t necessarily have to include a full-blown session at your club. For many, the ease of getting an efficient workout in at home is more realistic some days. I personally look forward to my gym workouts; however, lately I’ve been following an at-home workout program to help ensure I’m getting in a few resistance training workouts throughout the week. While my sons can, at times, add a bit of time onto the workout session, having them join in on or watch mama’s “exercises” gives me that much more of a good-mood boost.

There are many different programs you can follow to incorporate resistance training into your routine, whether it’s 1:1 personal training, group training or virtual programs like Lean + Tone. Contact us at any time to learn more at weightloss@lt.life.


R E T H I N K   A N T I A G I N G

Rethink what “antiaging” is for you and try a few new workouts that can yield a slew of health and fitness benefits. Hopefully you’ll feel more empowered and view exercise as a way to “be more” (more fit, more healthy, more powerful) versus a way to “be less” (weigh less, take up less space, etc.), which is all too common in health and fitness goals.

 

In health, Becca Hurt — Assistant Program Manager — Life Time Weight Loss 

 

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.  

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