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EXERCISE AND AGING

EXERCISE AND AGING
Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway   Mary Kay Ash

Exercise can become your anti-aging medicine. The science of exercise has evolved greatly and we now know a lot more about how exercise creates health benefits, especially the effects of exercise on weight loss, hormones and the aging process itself. More exercise is not necessarily better.

As an example consider the most popular weight loss exercise, jogging. Every year million of people worldwide start jogging to lose weight and get the physique they want. But in 2006, research from Berkley and Stanford Universities on habitual runners including those who ran as much as 8 miles a day, showed that they got fatter with each passing year.

As you pass age 30, your levels of an important hormone called human growth hormone (HGH) begin to fall dramatically. This is part of what influences the process of aging. Almost everyone over 30 has low levels of this important hormone as our life styles become increasingly more sedentary. 

The higher your levels of HGH, the healthier and stronger you are going to be and the longer you will enjoy robust health and strength. Kids and most wild animals do not run in long races or lift weights. They run around at high speeds in short bursts and then rest. This is naturally what optimizes the production of HGH and the basis of the exercise program I will share below.

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Reaping the benefits of EXERCISE

Reaping the benefits of EXERCISE
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. Goethe

I am pleased at the larger number of Jamaicans of every age, class and sex now involved in various sports and physical activities as I consider exercise to be one of what I call “The Four Pillars of Wellness”.

Exercise by its very nature is stressful to the body, so recovery and repair to traumatised muscles, tissues, and joints, the replacement of nutrients, and the removal of wastes like lactic acid is essential. Many athletes seem reluctant to give recovery its due, perhaps from the misguided thinking that more work is always good. But in reality, recovery is an integral component of the process of athletic training and overall fitness.

Recovery is the time when the body adapts to the eustress of physical training by developing new muscle mass and restoring the body’s glycogen levels. The period directly following an intense workout is particularly important for athletic training. During this time, the body is especially drained and vulnerable to injury and exhaustion.

Recovery has four basic parts:

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Recovering after Exercise

Recovering after Exercise

I am pleased at the large number of Jamaicans of every age, class and sex now involved in various sports and physical activities as I consider exercise to be one of what I call “The four Pillars of Wellness”.

Exercise by its very nature is stressful to the body so recovery and repair to traumatised muscles, tissues, and joints, the replacement of nutrients, and the removal of wastes like lactic acid is essential. Many athletes seem reluctant to give recovery its due, perhaps from the misguided thinking that more work is always good. But in reality, recovery is an integral component of the process of athletic training and overall fitness.

Recovery is the time when the body adapts to the eustress of physical training by developing new muscle mass and restoring the body’s glycogen levels. The period directly following an intense workout is particularly important for athletic training. During this time, the body is especially drained and vulnerable to injury and exhaustion.

Recovery has four basic parts:

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Exercise – By Prescription

Exercise – By Prescription

Like food, I consider exercise to be a powerful medicine because when properly applied it can provide amazing benefits to mind and body. There are different forms of exercise that offer different benefits. Ideally you want to perform a variety of exercises and avoid doing the same ones all the time. Lets look at the basic types of exercise.

Aerobic Exercise (Cardio):

Jogging, walking fast, using an elliptical machine, are all examples of aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise helps your heart and lungs work more efficiently, and increases your stamina while activating your immune system.  Research has shown that aerobic exercise stimulated the production in the brain of powerful substances called  endorphins. Endorphins elevates mood, combats depression, relieves pain and is thought to be responsible for the runners high – the euphoric feelings runners often experience while running.

On the other hand prolonged aerobic exercise can have negative effects on the body with excess physical and mental stress and the production of unhealthy levels of the stress hormone cortisol. I recommend combining 30 minutes of cardio with other types of exercise in a session that in total should ideally not exceed one hour.

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