How to Maintain Your Youthful Vigor and Slow the Aging
Process by La Rue Briggs
and strenuously one should exercise rather than chronological age. A 60-year-old
person who has been athletically active throughout his or her existence can endure
more physically challenging tasks than a 30-year-old who has been athletically inactive.
Until someone finally discovers the Fountain of Youth (that legendary spring sought in
the New World by Ponce de Leon and other Spanish explorers) regular workouts
remain the means for bringing about those near-miraculous, all-over improvements to
the body. For like a magical elixir, regular workouts can help to revitalize the body and
keep old-age symptoms at bay.
Through extensive research, scientists have found many positive results from
long-term consistent exercise. A regular exercise program leads to a higher fitness
level which increases energy. This individual has less illnesses and health problems, a
greater mental and emotional wellbeing and peace of mind.
Moreover, a vigorous, healthy body aids in protecting one from lesser mishaps and
may be a lifesaving factor in a crisis situation. Being able to respond quickly and
decisively in a potentially dangerous situation may avert a physically debilitating
outcome. This ability becomes exceedingly important in the degenerative middle-age
period of life.
Now, ideally, the human body should last about 120 years. But due mainly to
inactivity and an unrestrained approach to experiencing la dolce vita, many hasten the
aging process and reduce their age expectancy.
For example, studies show that coronary-artery disease (affecting the arteries that
transport blood to the heart muscle) is two times more prevalent among inactive
than active people. Studies also show a connection between inactivity and such
illnesses as diabetes, ulcers, high-blood pressure and emotional problems brought on
by stress and anxiety.
In some instances, a defective gene pool is responsible for serious illness and a
shortened life span. Regrettably, hundreds of thousands of people are descendants of
family stock susceptible to scores of garden-variety ailments as well as to one of the
most frightening killers of our time: cancer.
Consequently, these people must be especially careful about their health to prolong
their normal biological ages. Early detection and treatment of cancer, or any one of
countless other health-robbing diseases, can go a long way in bettering the quality and
possibly extending the length of a person's life.
These days, with the proliferation of health and fitness books and magazines, more
people than in the past know how invaluable regular workouts are for older persons.
They know that strength, endurance, flexibility, coordination of movement and
seemingly unlimited energy, all of which are taken for granted when we are young,
gain ever greater importance as the years pass by if we wish to be self-reliant for as
long as possible.
Though these physical powers must now be worked for, the output from this work is
well worth the effort; the bottom-line difference is one of leading either a productive
or a nonproductive life.
Nonetheless, assorted natural changes do take place in the body as it ages and these
should be considered when planning workout programs. However, most of the
limitations imposed by aging are more qualitative than quantitative. That is, one may
not be able to perform some functions at the same high level he once did, but can do
so with modifications.
Regardless of age, many undesirable effects of aging can be postponed, reversed, or
prevented through proper exercise. The body's ability to receive and circulate oxygen
decreases about one percent yearly after the age of 25; but diligently performing an
aerobic activity, such as walking, assists in heightening the amount of oxygen the
body uses, enhances the hearts' working capability and, thereby, raises the blood
supply. Others have found that along with improving their looks by delaying the
effects of aging years, exercise also improves their mental faculties, as well as the
capacity to put their bodies in motion - to get out of bed and move around unassisted.
With advancing age comes some measure of stiffness in the muscles and joints. Joint
structures injure more easily and muscles may get weaker and shorter. One must
make the effort to maintain the range of motion in the joints and keep the muscles
resilient. This requires dedication, determination, planning and work.
Strength training, aerobics, stretching and a low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-sugar diet,
will maximize physical and mental performances leaving a firm, slender, supple
physique no matter what the chronological age.
Specifically, weight workouts assist in preventing muscle and bone loss. On average,
most individuals lose around 3 percent of bone mass annually. Weight-resistant
workouts will help build muscles, tighten and tone the body, and increase strength as
well as restore bone mass and density.
Aerobic exercises (such as walking, running and swimming) are excellent for
conditioning vital organs, burning unneeded calories and removing body fat. The
combination of these exercises with a good stretching routine and a sensible approach
to eating will aid in bringing about total-body fitness.
Apply unwavering effort toward achieving goals by exercising for 20 to 60 minutes at
least three times weekly. Adding variety to workouts helps maintain motivation by
keeping exercise more interesting and thus lessening the odds of quitting. More
importantly, alternating workouts lowers the risk of overuse injuries by emphasizing
different muscle groups of the body at each training session. Variety adds to overall
fitness and keeps workouts from becoming redundant and stale.
NOTE: Before beginning any type of physical training, obtain a thorough medical
examination, including your heart, lungs, blood pressure, muscles, and joints and a
resting electrocardiogram (ECG). Your blood should be analyzed for cholesterol and
About The Author
© La Rue Briggs - All Rights Reserved.
As a nationally certified fitness instructor, La Rue conducted exercise and bodybuilding
classes for the YMCA and other organizations. La Rue also was an instructor/trainer
for the Michigan Heart Association, a board member of the Metropolitan Detroit Health
Education Council, and a member of the YMCA Physical Education Committee. La Rue
is a Detroit native with a BA in English from Wayne State University. Visit web site
Did you know that a 60-year-old
who has been active can endure
more physically challenging tasks
than a 30-year-old who has
been inactive? Like a magical
elixir, regular workouts help
revitalize your body and keep
old-age symptoms at bay.
Old is relative, defined as the
advanced years of life when a
person has reached the stage of
considerably lowered activity due
to fading vitality and muscular
atrophy. Physiological age,
however, affects how frequently
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this website is for educational purposes only. Please consult with your physician before using natural
remedies and before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise program.
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