Best Strategy for Anti Aging: Exercise

Want to turn back the clock? Aging can mean hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and loss of memory, muscle and bone. But the good news is that you can actually delay and possibly reverse these nasties with regular exercise .

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: Rance Costa

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: Rance Costa

Like most of us, I try to look younger than my years by taking good care of myself. I eat well, get plenty of sleep and periodically partake of the wonders of Botox and Radiesse. But my downfall is exercise. I seldom exercise as much as I should, as directed by my friend, Lorraine Maita, MD.

Lorraine is a super savvy chick who happens to be an award-winning physician, speaker and author of “Vibrance for Life: How to Live Younger and Healthier.” She’s an expert in anti-aging medicine, bioidentical hormone replacement, weight loss, nutrition and supplements. I think Dr. Maita’s practical advice can help make all of us slimmer and sharper, so I asked her for a little pep talk. Here’s what she says about the miracle of physical activity…

Regular exercise is essential to help combat bone, balance and muscle mass loss that can lead to frailty, weakness, falls and fractures. Anti-aging exercise such as weight training and weight-bearing exercise requires balance and coordination to help ward off the symptoms of aging and also reverse the process.

• For muscle maintenance and tone, lift 65% of your 1 rep max. To build muscle, lift 85% of your 1 rep max. Pick a weight that you can safely lift for 10 repetitions and determine your 1 rep max by using this calculator. Start slow and build up slowly to avoid pain, strain and injury. A trainer can work with you to ensure that you are using good technique and to make anti-aging exercise safe and effective.
• For balance, try sports such as tennis, racquetball and dance or do exercises using a balance ball.
• For bone strength, do weight-bearing anti-aging exercise such as weight lifting, walking, jogging, calisthenics, cycling and other types of activities in which you use your body or other weight to strengthen bones and muscle. (Swimming is an excellent exercise, however it will not build bone because there is no weight bearing associated with it.)

Stop stress, anxiety, depression, dementia and fatigue with anti-aging exercise. Oxygen and increased blood flow can lift your spirits. Aerobic exercise increases blood flow and provides essential nutrients to your brain, muscles, organs and tissues. It also improves heart health and lung function by increasing the amount of oxygen and blood flow that nourishes your mind and body and exercising the muscles through expansion and contraction. Increased blood flow also removes toxic waste that may cause or aggravate the symptoms. Anti-aging exercise can relieve fatigue, aches, pains, mental fog, anxiety, stress, depression and more.

• Aerobic exercise can be a little as 20 minutes a day to have an effect. Exercising in small, 5-10 minute increments throughout the day can also be beneficial. Try walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing or other activities to get your heart rate up.
• Stretching is an anti-aging exercise because, if held for 15 seconds or longer, it can increase blood flow, relieve muscle tension and pain, as well as calm the mind and body. This is an anti-aging exercise that can make you look and feel younger by relieving stress and tension.

Thanks, Lorraine, for allowing me to share these important tips with our readers. Dr. Maita’s private practice in Anti Aging Medicine is in Short Hills, New Jersey. You can read more about her work at http://howtoliveyounger.com.

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