By Guy Lawrence
If you are looking for a quick fix to make you look and feel ten years younger, then turn off your computer right now and switch on the daytime TV as I’m pretty sure you will find it there. But if you do like the idea of a few simple habits that can slow the ageing process down and make you feel like a million dollars…
Now bear with me here, as this is not going to be as glamorous as most marketing campaigns I see. I remember asking a colleague (now friend) once how he managed to trade stocks so successfully as he had achieved this within 3 years of starting out (he was earning more on a monthly basis than I was in a year). He said “do boring well!”
This guy knew his routine inside out, was methodical about his approach and didn’t deviate from it. When the end of each month came he would then reward himself. This was not the cigar chomping jacuzzi bathing high-roller I had first envisioned of people trading for a living. But it gives the little guy hope. Do the basics well, stick at it and the rewards will come over time.
Are you sitting there reading this and maybe wanting to turn back the clock slightly?
I think there are a couple of things that we can all agree on here. There is nothing we can do about our physical age. Our arrival date is the card we are dealt. All the whining in the world won’t change that. We are all blessed with the same amount of time each day – 24 hours. Equal amounts with a choice of how we decide to spend it.
Just like my friend who trades stock from home, there’s nothing really glamorous about his success, he just had great habits learned over time and he applied them consistently. This is a really good thing, it just means you may have to drop a few perceived misconceptions and make small but powerful choices. We all know that we are a result of a collective effort of small choices taken daily compounding like a bank account. If only I’d been squirrelling a little bit of my money away each week for the last 15 years, things would be slightly different now.
Anyway, enough rambling…
So do you want to know what one of the greatest contributors to the fountain of youth is?
Wait for it… drum roll please… yep, resistance training… extremely glamorous I know, combine this with good nutrition, cut out inflammatory foods like sugar and processed carb’s, and you are on to a winner.
Over the past several years there has been an increase in the use of weight training as a component of rehabilitation programs specifically targeting cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, depression and osteoporosis.
Randomised studies have shown that progressive (note the word: progressive) weight training has produced positive results and I am in full agreement with this. If you want to maintain or improve your health, then adding progressive resistance training is a must.
It has been noted that once you reach 25-30 years old, the body begins to age. As you age your body stops producing as much natural Human Growth Hormone (HGH), and with each decade that follows, this muscle loss process speeds up. If our muscles are under-utilised we will lose 4% of our muscle mass per decade until the time we are 50 years old and 10% per decade after that. By the time you turn 60 you could have lost between 20-30% of your muscle mass, which is quite incredible given your muscles make up the majority of your body weight. If you’re wondering why your body weight does not go down, it just means your body fat has increased along with muscle loss.
The best way to combat any muscle loss is to engage in physical progressive activity that evokes the use of your muscle mass, producing HGH. Yoga and rock climbing are great ways to do this but I believe the best way is weight training within a controlled environment.
When you think of a dumbbell and the words ‘Human Growth Hormone’ (HGH), you could be easily forgiven for thinking of Arnold Schwarzenegger or some oiled up muscle giant flexing his stuff on stage. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. The HGH I’m talking about here is what is naturally produced in the body, especially when you sleep.
It’s like opening a parachute on life. We are all going to hit the ground at some stage, but at what speed do you want to hit? HGH will have a major impact on the speed of ageing and the prevention of muscle loss.
Now if you are thinking your age is a barrier that this weight training lark is for young folk, think again. I’ve trained people in their 70′s who were new to the gym. They increased strength and muscle mass over time. To add to that they love the social aspect of it too. It’s never too late!
I also forget to mention that my stock trading friend didn’t start trading from home until he was 75 years old! He didn’t even have an email address before then!
Did I say it’s never too late?
Let’s look at the benefits of weight/resistance training along with HGH production for anti-ageing:
- Boosts immunity and helps regulate sleep
- Improves posture
- Easier weight and health management through an increase of muscle and regulation of blood sugar levels
- Increased bone, joint, ligament, tendon and muscle strength
- Increased ability of functional movement and decreased movement limitations
- Speeds up metabolism. (Muscle is the most metabolically active tissue within the body)
- Increased self esteem through muscle tone and improvement of posture
- Prevents muscle loss (atrophy)
Don’t worry if you have never done any form of resistance training before. Most gyms these days will be able to guide you if you are just starting out. Start off nice and easy making sure each week is progressive. I would also highly recommend this type of training every other day at least three times a week for best results. Once you get going and follow through, there will be no holding you back as there’s nothing more satisfying than taking direct control of yourself and turning back the clock.
P.s. If you know of any other anti-ageing remedies, we would love to here them!