By Michael Piccoli
With regard to fitness, for many years, I have been outspoken about my support of sports and strength training as good alternatives to redundant exercises like treadmill workouts. Steve Holman, editor-in-chief of Iron Man Magazine, has taken that idea to the extreme with a new body shaping program designed to slow down and even reverse the aging process. But he’s not the only one interested in the concept of aging.
You may also be familiar with the Real Age Program, or with one of its founders, Dr. Mehmet Oz. Real Age asserts that your actual age is often not in synch with the biological condition of your body. Based on your level of conditioning and diet and other factors, your body may be aging at an accelerated rate. Real Age calculates your age based on your body’s condition and compares it your chronological age. The goal is to improve the body so its actual “real age” is at or below one’s biological age. To me, that is the basis for Holman’s approach: return the body to the youthful condition that it was in before declining fitness and other factors accelerated the aging process.
According to Steve Holman, after we reach the age of 40, our bodies start aging at a faster rate than they had to that point. Studies have shown that without the proper nutrients and exercise, our bodies are aging about 6 months extra for every year that passes! So, let’s say you’re 40. By the time you reach 50, you will look and feel 55. By the time you reach 60, you will look and feel 70 years old! I don’t know about you but that kind of aging does not appeal to me a whole lot.
Did you ever notice that the folks who stay the most physically active seem to be aging more slowly than others who don’t? In my mind, I picture a 63-year old woman gardening while her 65-year-old husband is chopping wood nearby and they both look like they’re in their 50s. Hmm… maybe that was a scene from a 1940s movie but I think it makes the point. They kept active with muscle taxing activities and no doubt felt and looked younger because of it. Steve Holman says that 90% of people over the age of 35 lose enough muscle every year to burn off an additional 4 pounds of body fat. The aging process really starts to catch up with us at that point. Muscle gives shape and strength to our bodies. As we know, when you lose muscle mass, you gain fat, even if the calories you take in stay the same. We don’t feel or look as good. Then we get depressed because we don’t feel and look as good. Then we give up on retaining our youth and it’s all downhill from there. Wow. That was depressing, huh?
Fear not! That doesn’t have to happen.
Both the folks at Real Age and Steve Holman insist that all of this accelerated aging is reversible. According to them, there are specific ways to move and eat that will slow down the rapid aging process to the point where you’re aging less than a year for every year. That means we can look younger in a few years than we do now? Now that is an aging plan we could get behind, right?
Not so fast. Are there drugs, supplements or expensive supplies to buy? No. Just food choices and targeted short-duration exercises are involved. Steve Holman says his years as a fitness magazine editor have allowed him to pick up tips, tricks and strategies from anti-aging experts over the years. And they don’t involve cycling classes or elliptical machines.
According to Steve, to get started, there are 5 rules one must absolutely follow if he or she wants to “slow the aging process, reclaim your health and achieve your ideal body”:
Forget low-fat diets. They lead to sugar addiction and we all know what that causes – fat storage!
Work out less. Resistance training done the right way burns fat and is a great cardiovascular workout, as well. Sports that tax muscles over the entire body can be effective, as well.
Drink water. Water renews your skin, helps burn fat, suppresses hunger and allows your kidneys to operate under less strain which allows your liver to burn fat like it’s supposed to.
Stop endless cardio workouts. Cardiovascular conditioning can be gained with far less time and effort. New studies are showing that long-duration exercise accelerate the aging process by increasing free radicals. These free radicals are scavengers that prey on your body’s essential nutrients and tissues.
Don’t blame your age for all your fitness issues. Studies have shown that men and women of every age, even those in their 90s, were able to gain muscle tone in just a matter of weeks of simple weight training.
Well, those are good guidelines to use to begin combating the aging process. There’s an old saying that goes something like, “I want to die as young as possible at as old an age as possible” (or something like that). I do follow the 5 steps already, though I would admit to not doing enough of #2. How about you? I have been told I look younger than I really am and that’s nice. Now if only I could reverse the aging process so I would feel younger…
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The Aging Process: Can It Be Reversed?
The Aging, The Aging Process, Process