By Carol Wilson ~
Continuing with my theme of Weight Wellness Over 40 – I have previously touched on metabolism, sarcopenia and sleep. This month I will focus on the importance of being active. In our 20’s, it seemed as if we were always active, eating on the fly, losing weight on any fad diet. Our metabolism was efficient. What worked for us in our 20’s, however, no longer works for many of us now that we are over 40.
Life has taught us that if you do not exercise a muscle, you will lose a muscle. Years ago people in their 40’s were leaner and fit. They did more physical work – often outdoors. They were much more physically active. Today, most people in their 40’s sit at computers. Their activity level is minimal.
To help restore muscle fitness, we should block out exercise time. 3-5 hours of sustained exercise per week, in addition to 20 minutes of walking every day: Resistance training, weights, yoga, walking, running, high-intensity interval training all help build muscle.
The health benefits of exercise are incontrovertible!
Exercise keeps us feeling and looking younger, especially high-intensity interval training (HIIT). High-intensity interval training is a superior method of exercise for helping to prevent and even reverse some of the detrimental effects of aging.
“HIIT” differs from resistance training. “HIIT” involves repeating short periods of high-intensity activity like sprinting, cycling, elliptical followed by short periods of low-intensity activity periods like walking, swimming.
Studies have shown that “HIIT” improves cardiovascular fitness, insulin sensitivity, and fat-free mass.
The participants in these studies who engaged in high levels of physical activity, equal to running 30-40 minutes at least five days per week, had longer “telomeres” (Telomeres are the protective endcaps on the ends of chromosomes. Each time a cell replicates, which occurs millions upon millions of times during our lifetime, a tiny piece of the end of the chromosome is lost. This results in a shortening of telomeres as we age.) as compared to those who were sedentary and moderately active. This translated to a nine- and a seven-year difference in biological aging.
To make a difference in slowing down the aging process, “low to moderate” exercise a few times a week is not enough. Frequent “high intensity” or “vigorous” physical activity helps reverse the aging process at the cellular level and greatly improves our quality of life and energy as referenced in this article category with the other suggestions I have previously shared with you.
It is not about how LONG we live, it is about how WELL we live. If we do not take care of our bodies, our bodies will not take care of us.
I invite you to share in my journey, to a better “you” and a better “us.
Have a great day and get out and exercise!