Anti Aging Today

Exercise and Aging

The expression "Use it or lose it" succinctly sums up the message that we would like to convey regarding the relationship between exercise and aging. Virtually every scientific study shows that functional capacity is maintained at a higher level in every realm of human physiology from aerobic capacity to memory to flexibility to strength to verbal capacity and mental calculation when that function is performed on a regular basis. If aging is in part measured by one's ability to perform tasks at youthful levels, then continuing to exercise one's capabilities keeps one young.

Yet with our modern lifestyles, we are much less active in our daily lives than we were even a few decades ago. Yes, it is true that more people are exercising on a daily basis now, but when they are not specifically exercising, they are less active than non-exercisers of the past. When one considers that activity levels of humans as they were evolving through the Paleolithic era (1.6 million years ago to 10,000 years ago) were 100 to 150% higher, one starts to see that we were not meant to be as inactive as we are now. Hence, many of the diseases we are facing now (diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity) are diseases of civilization.

Over the next few months, we will evaluate the evidence for the assertions made above. For now, here are a few tips that can decrease your rate of aging, maintain your abilities in many areas of life, keep your weight down, and decrease your risk of getting a disease of aging/civilization.

1. Take a walk after each meal, especially dinner. This helps to decrease the likelihood that you will continue to nibble and snack after your meal. It also helps digestion and burns calories.

2. Take the stairs whenever possible. This will raise your heart rate transiently which will improve your cardiovascular fitness and give you a spurt of growth hormone to boot. You will also avoid being exposed to cold viruses in a closed space.

3. Get off the bus, taxi, or subway one or two stops before your destination. You will give yourself a little sunshine and stress reduction by getting your blood running and also add to your daily calorie expenditure.

4. Whenever possible, try to do simple arithmetic calculations in your head, or try to remember the telephone number without writing it down. Using your short term memory and calculating ability will help keep both sharp.

We believe that no anti-aging program is complete without an aerobic, strength, and flexibility enhancing component, but incorporating these tips into your daily life takes no extra time and will pay large health dividends.

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Response to Skeptics:

"Man who say it cannot be done should not interrupt man doing it."
- Chinese Proverb

 

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