Advice on fighting aging has become as traditional in January as the sales – yet the various recommended strategies can demand far too much effort for few convincing returns.
So here’s some of the science on anti-aging – along with four tried and tested ways to look and feel younger than you are.
The Strong Stay Young
“Challenging exercise is the closest thing to an anti-aging pill for everyone, not just for athletes and health nuts,” say the celebrity trainers Tim Bean and Anne Lang, authors of “Turn Back Your Age Clock,” to be published this month. The emphasis here is on “challenging” – a stroll in the park won’t do. You have to work your muscles to the limit, exercising harder and faster to make your body perspire and your heart race, within an aerobic training zone that’s between 60 and 80 percent of your maximum heart rate (your age subtracted from 220), according to Bean and Lang.
High-intensity aerobic exercise “increases the body’s need for oxygen and therefore improves the capability of heart, lungs and blood vessels to supply oxygen to the muscles,” they say. And studies confirm the benefits of challenging your body with regular aerobic exercise to prevent aging-related diseases. There’s no need to join a gym or pay a trainer. All you need is a pair of well-fitting training shoes, and women should wear a support bra, say Bean and Lang.
Four top tips for aerobic exercise are:
1. Brisk power walking. By the time you have warmed up and got into your stride, do the “talk test” – you should be breathing
harder and starting to perspire and be unable to hold a chatty conversation, although not so breathless that you can’t utter a
2. Jogging. Start slowly until your body has lost its cumbersome slowness and begins to feel fluid and streamlined. Then set
yourself a distance and a time, and work at beating your personal best in each workout.
3. Skipping. This most inexpensive and portable cardiovascular workout is a wonderfully intense high calorie-burner for those
who have built up a good fitness level.
3. Cycling. This is especially good for the elderly or overweight. To burn calories, you need to increase your intensity and
distance. Adjust the height of the seat so that the leg at the bottom of the down-stroke is almost but not quite completely extended.
Bean and Lang promise that you will “look and feel 20 years younger in only eight weeks” – but to get there, you’ll need to alternate 50 minutes of aerobic exercise with an anti-aging workout made up of rejuvenator circuit exercises that “hit on aging hot spot areas”. The favourite exercise for celebrity clients who are preparing to appear on the red carpet is “the turtle”: repeat it 20 times three times a week for a defined and athletic appearance to back, buttock and shoulders.
Here’s how it’s done:
1. Lie relaxed, prone on your front, on the floor with arms extended in front of you and legs together.
2. Inhale and raise your head, arms and legs just up off the floor. Sweep the arms around in a wide arc until your hands reach your
sides. Squeeze your buttocks and thighs.
3. Exhale as you return to the original position, then repeat the movement, keeping your arms up off the floor at all times until
the exercise is finished.
(Story source: Over Fifties Friends)