Four Ways Strong Muscles Increase Longevity

Nobody really likes to talk about aging and the negative effects it has on the body.

Four Ways Strong Muscles Increase LongevityBut the truth of the matter is, it happens to all of us, and it creeps up on you when you least expect it. So plan for the future now, whether it’s investing your money wisely or investing your time smartly and taking time to exercise, good health is the most important thing you can possess.

Strength and flexible muscles is your goal to prevent aging. Weak muscles cause accidents like falls and affect your quality of life. Imagine not being able to bend down to tie your own shoes or not having the strength to make it up a flight of stairs.

Strong muscles do not develop with cardio. In fact, if you don’t nourish your body adequately while performing long sessions of cardio, you will enter into a catabolic state. What this means is that your body will start feeding off your muscle tissue, deteriorating your muscle mass rather than building it up.

So what do you do?

Lift weights! Resistance training is rehabilitative, preventative, and anti-aging. And no, you will not bulk up like a freak, nor do you have to in order to strengthen your muscles. Light to medium resistance training at least three times a week is enough to improve your overall health, provided your diet is also in check.

How Strong Muscles Can Increase Longevity

Strong Muscles Improve Cardiac Health

  • Strong muscles absorb oxygen and nutrients from the blood more efficiently, which causes less strain on the heart.
  • Strong muscles are more efficient at physical exertion and require less of the heart.

Strong Muscles Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

  • Strong muscles are more efficient at drawing sugar from the blood for energy.
  • Strong muscles help regulate blood sugar levels.

Strong Muscles Help Control Weight

  • Strong muscles take up a lot of real estate and burn calories more efficiently than weak muscles.
  • Strong muscles help regulate your metabolism.

Strong Muscles Improve Quality of Life

  • Strong muscles help with mobility and flexibility, so you can remain more active through your senior years.
  • Exercise improves bone health and this helps reduce the risk of injuries and fractures, often reported as early as 65 years old.

Source:

Harvard Medical School, Healthbeat

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High Intensity Training Increases Longevity

Sprint training and high intensity interval training are beginning to replace traditional forms of cardio.

High intensity cyclingBoth these types of training come with all kinds of health benefits and are becoming very popular because you can train in far less time than banging it out on the treadmill for 45 minutes or more.

To test this theory, researchers out of Copenhagen, Denmark, looked at cyclists who train with intensity and those who train traditionally. The results of this study show that relative intensity not duration of cycling is most important in relation to all-cause mortality and even more pronounced for coronary heart disease mortality.

In other words, cycling fast can increase your lifespan.

The study, presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2011, concluded that men with fast intensity cycling survived 5.3 years longer, and men with average intensity 2.9 years longer than men with slow cycling intensity. For women the figures were 3.9 and 2.2 years longer, respectively. The groups were adjusted for differences in age and conventional risk factor levels.

“This study suggests that a greater part of the daily physical activity in leisure time should be vigorous, based on the individuals own perception of intensity. Our group has already published similar results for all-cause mortality in relation to walking.”

Current recommendations prescribe that every adult should accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity in leisure time, preferably every day of the week. The optimal intensity, duration and frequency still have to be established.

To improve optimum health, supplement your diet with a high quality whey protein isolate and Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Combined these supplements have been proven to slow the aging process and help muscle wasting brought on through aging.

Source:

European Society of Cardiology (ESC). “Cycling fast: Vigorous daily exercise recommended for a longer life.” ScienceDaily, 18 Sep. 2011. Web. 21 Sep. 2011.

Too much Salt can Dull the Brain

We don’t give much thought to our aging brains until we start forgetting things.

Too much salt can dull the brain New research is now saying that a diet high in salt can affect the healthy cognitive function of the brain and lead to more diseases besides heart disease.

These findings were discovered in sedentary, older adults who had consumed a high-salt diet for a lifetime. Led by researchers at Baycrest in Toronto — in collaboration with colleagues at the Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, McGill University and the Université de Sherbrooke, this study was published in the online journal Neurobiology of Aging and uncovers new evidence in the search for increasing cognitive health in older adults.

“We have generated important evidence that sodium intake not only impacts heart health, but brain health as well,” said Dr. Alexandra Fiocco, a scientist with Baycrest’s Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied and Evaluative Research Unit (KLAERU) and the study’s lead investigator.

The study itself lasted three years and followed the diets of 1,262 healthy men and women aged between 67 and 84 in Quebec, Canada. These subjects were selected from a larger group of participants in the Quebec Longitudinal Study on Nutrition and Successful Aging (NuAge).

The participants were divided into three groups defined by their daily sodium intake:

  • Low = a maximum of 2,263 mg per day
  • Mid = a maximum of 3,091 mg per day
  • High = in excess of 3,091 mg per day (this reached as high as 8,098 in some individuals)

In addition, participants were tested for cognitive function of the brain with markers at each yearly interval. Their fitness level was also measured using the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly.

“The results of our study showed that a diet high in sodium, combined with little exercise, was especially detrimental to the cognitive performance of older adults,” said Dr. Fiocco.

“But the good news is that sedentary older adults showed no cognitive decline over the three years that we followed them if they had low sodium intake.”

“These data are especially relevant as we know that munching on high-salt processed snacks when engaged in sedentary activities, such as watching TV or playing in front of the computer, is a frequent pastime for many adults,” said Dr. Carol Greenwood, a senior author on the study and internationally-renowned scientist in the field of nutrition and cognitive function in late life.

“This study addresses an additional risk associated with lifestyles that are highly apparent in North American populations.”

This research is revolutionary as until now high sodium intake has only been associated with high blood pressure and heart disease.

Strategies to reduce salt intake have been put place in Canada and indeed many states in the US as well. Health Canada recommends a daily dose of no more than 2,300 mg of sodium for people aged 14 and older.

Source:

Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. “Older adults with too much salt in diet and too little exercise at greater risk of cognitive decline, study finds.” ScienceDaily, 22 Aug. 2011. Web. 22 Aug. 2011.

How to Enhance Your Quality of Life

When you think of anti-aging, the immediate thing that comes to mind is wrinkles and looking younger, but the fact is that anti-aging covers everything from physiological changes like loss of memory and libido to health issues like weight gain and age-related diseases like heart attack.

How to Increase Your Quality of LifeSo let’s take a look at diet and exercise and see what you can do to help slow down the anti-aging process.

Exercise

When it comes to exercise, there are a few areas you want to pay attention to:

  • Testosterone Optimization
  • Build Muscle to Combat Age-Related Muscle Loss
  • Train your Heart
  • Flexibility to Add Life to your Body
  • Balancing Exercises to Increase Stability
  • Stretching and Relaxation Techniques to Improve Mental Stress

Testosterone Optimization (yes, even  the ladies need this)

First of all, if you’re not exercising regularly yet, then you need to start right away. When you do train, make it count. Training with intensity can significantly raise your testosterone levels, especially when you include compound exercises like squats and push-ups. With increased testosterone, you increase your chances of gaining muscle, which is very important for keeping an aging body strong and physically able.

You can increase your testosterone by using a T-booster. When taken before your workout, these supplements can enhance your testosterone and help you build lean muscle tissue. Not to mention the added benefits of an increased libido.

Build Muscle to Combat Age-Related Muscle Loss

Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle due to age. It happens to everybody. As we age, we lose muscle and gain fat and need to exercise more than at any other time in our lives. With loss of muscle comes loss of strength and before you know it, you’re calling your son to unscrew the pickle jar. Don’t let it happen to you. Include two to three weight training sessions into your workout regime every week and you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel and how stronger and more muscular you become.

Train your Heart

Cardiovascular exercise is a must to help keep your lungs and heart strong. As we age, our lungs lose their ability to process oxygen and our V02 Max becomes compromised. The best way to improve this is to make sure you’re working that heart at least 5 times a week for 30 minutes. Intense training also works the heart, so when it comes to cardio, it doesn’t have to be pounding it out on the treadmill. You have options. The important things is to exercise regularly and don’t cheat yourself out of the many benefits exercise can offer.

Flexibility to Add Life to your Body

Flexibility is crucial to ensure that your body can weather the aches and pains and stiffness of aging. Take the time to have a good stretch after you exercise. Your body will thank you.

Balancing Exercises to Increase Stability

Taking Yoga and incorporating balancing exercises into your workout program can help with stability. Some 23,000 people die each year due to a fall, which could have been avoided had they been more steady on their feet. Hiking has also been shown to help strengthen a person’s gait, which is enhanced from hill climbing and uneven terrain.

Stretching and Relaxation Techniques to Improve Mental Stress

Stretching, relaxation, flexibility and balancing all fall under the same umbrella and can all be achieved through Yoga and taking a couple of sessions a week. Yoga also helps to improve breathing and induce relaxation to relieve stress, which can help with mental faculty.

Diet

When it comes to diet, the most important things you need are antioxidants and Omega-3.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants contain powerful substances called phytonutrients that help longevity as they gobble up free radicals – oxygen molecules that play a role in the onset of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s.

As we age, we become more susceptible to the long-term effects of oxidative stress and inflammation at the cellular level. Supplementing with an antioxidant like R-ALA after working out can help oxidative damage caused by intense training. Also make sure to include lot of antioxidants in your diet like blueberries, sweet potatoes, cherries and green tea.

Omega-3

Omega-3 is necessary all-round health but targets the brain and heart to maintain optimum functioning. Omega-3 also has anti-inflammatory effects in the body and this can help alleviate inflammation, pain and disease associated with aging.

There are many things you can do to improve your health and increase longevity. It all starts with a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Improving your quality of life so you can age gracefully will open up all kinds of opportunities so you can enjoy your old age.

Protein

Supplementing your diet with a high quality whey protein isolate powder is a must to combat sarcopenia and increase lean muscle, which translates into added strength and a younger physique.

Originally published @ FITLODE.COM