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When you hear about anti-aging what do you think about? Can you put a finger on it? I believe anti-aging is multidisciplinary and is based on individual choices. Anti-aging is a lifestyle! Each person chooses how to progress down a certain path to health and well being. Below is a list of factors to consider in designing your own personal anti-aging program.
Rev Up Your Metabolism
Aging is accompanied by a decrease in your metabolic rate and an associated increase in your fat storage. As such, your body fails to burn excess fat as we grow older. To combat this anti-aging effect we need to control our metabolic rate by increasing daily activities. The best way to do this is to perform a 20 minute cardio-vascular fitness program a few days a week to help rev up your metabolism. The best time to perform this fat burning workout is when you wake and before breakfast. This is the perfect time to workout because while you slept, your body depleted all the carbohydrates in your system, and since you have an empty stomach your body is forced to use your fat stores to provide energy for the workout.
Keep Your Heart Strong
Growing older also means a reduction in the ability of the heart to pump blood through the circulatory system. In addition, build up in the arteries also contributes to this reduced ability. Since your heart is a muscle its function and circulatory capability can be improved by aerobic exercise. Remember to always consult your doctor when starting any fitness program. However, I once heard a doctor say that if they could put exercise into a pill form, it would be the most prescribed pill known to mankind. As such, using exercise to keep the heart strong is an important factor in any anti-aging program.
Your Brain is a Muscle Too!
Anti-aging research has shown that memory capacity declines if the brain is not involved in mental functions. Mental inactivity causes poor memory function or in some cases memory loss. Playing games, participating in social activities, problem solving, reading and writing will all help "exercise" the brain. Exercising your brain will not only improve cognitive function but will also help eliminate boredom and depression.
Did you know that the oxygen uptake test, the one where they measure your lung capacity while your on a treadmill, is so accurate that if they gave a group of people the test and then had that same group run a distance race they could predict how each individual would place in the race before the race ended. With aging comes a reduced elasticity of the lungs and thus a reduced oxygen uptake or breathing capacity. Aerobic or cardio exercise is an anti-aging solution that will increase the breathing capacity of the lungs.
Increase Your Lean Tissue or Muscle Mass
As you age your metabolism slows and you begin to lose muscle. Actually, muscle loss is a symptom of aging. However, you can increase muscle mass, burn fat, and increase your metabolism all at the same time. This is accomplished through an aerobic weight training workout. By using light weights that you can repeat 12 to 15 times per muscle group you will not only increase muscle mass and metabolic rate but also reduce fat stores. In addition, strength training exercises will increase your lean tissue which in turn increases your basal (resting) metabolic rate. Combining an aerobic weight training workout with a diet high in protein and low in fat is a good start for any anti-aging fitness program.
Stretching should be a part of any natural anti-aging fitness program. You not only warm up your muscles for the workout but also prevent any unnecessary injuries during the workout. Staying flexible will also eliminate any muscle cramping that is sometimes associated with aging. Moreover, being limber helps you perform better in your day to day anti-aging activities.
Your View of Yourself
Does growing old mean avoiding the bathroom scale or looking into a mirror? The way you perceive yourself is very important to your overall physical, mental and spiritual self. People are flocking to doctors for expanding waistlines and hair loss. Their buying anti-aging skin care products and cosmetics for younger looking skin and the list goes on. Your long-term whole-body physical, mental and spiritual picture of yourself is an important factor of your anti-aging program.
Bridge the Gap
Taking the steps necessary to take care of yourself will help you "bridge the gap" to a longer life. Developing a solid anti-aging program and strategy is essential. Without a plan or a process things are just left up to chance. You yourself can only implement the steps that will take you down the path of becoming a centenarian.
In conclusion, anti-aging overall is multidisciplinary. It involves, in part, the 12 factors discussed here but also total whole-body wellness and longevity. It involves incorporating the ingredients of wellness and longevity into your lifestyle. Anti-aging is an individual process - you decide what ingredients are part of the program. Anti-aging is what makes you feel good. It is what makes you "anti-age"!