Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Exercise slows aging MANY ways at once....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 3-15-2016

The first major study on this was jaw dropping.

And, we now know several ways to use exercise to slow aging that this study did not use or cover!

That new information is the main topic of this post.

By doing it all, you can slow aging in several ways at once. 

And, you can slow it a lot!

There are even many more OTHER things you can do to slow aging; but this post hits the highlights of the new research on using exercise to slow aging.

1.  If you take two groups you have good access to that are almost identical by every measure but one and compare them over time, you get the results of that one difference.

AND, you can be quite sure of the results.

Stanford had a group of professors and staff who ran regularly for exercise -- and when many of them got too old to run without too many injuries, they did another kind of vigorous, regular exercise instead.

Stanford took a group of professors and staff not in this group that were otherwise almost identical in income and age and also had the advantages of being in the Stanford community.

After many years the researchers compared the two groups for deaths and heart attacks and more.  This is the jaw dropping part.

Most of the exercise group were alive and in good health.  Those who wanted to were still working. Few were disabled.

By contrast a substantial percentage of the non-exercise group had died or had heart attacks and had clearly aged far faster. More had other chronic diseases.

Separate research has found that year after year when people do regular, vigorous exercise every year, each year their heart health profiles get better!

Telomeres, as you may know, are the caps at the end of your DNA.  When they stay long, your body makes perfect copies of its cells.  When they get too short, your body makes imperfect copies and after too much of this, your body breaks down.

So, given the results of the Stanford study, it’s no surprise that other research shows that exercise can lengthen telomeres and it helps to keep them long!

And, other research has shown that people with long telomeres not only live longer, they are less likely to have heart attacks and strokes and osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.

2.  Incredibly, exercise slows aging in even more ways!

That’s the topic of this post.

Dr Al Sears who is an anti-aging researcher had an email today that said this;

If you can maintain or improve your performances in all three factors, you’ll reverse your biological clock.

So what are the "Big Three"?

1.  Telomere length
  2.  Mitochondrial health
    3.  Lungpower”

We just covered that consistent, regular, and vigorous exercise done most days of every week helps keep telomeres long.

Mitochondria are the power source for your cells.  People like healthy 10 year old kids who have lots of them and their mitochondria are all in good health have abundant energy and good health.  They run often or can get into it easily.

By contrast, many people who live past 90 years old move only very slowly and tire very easily.  Some even become totally wheel chair bound and almost unable to move at all.

Dr Sears once said that such people only had 3% of their mitochondria left and in good health.

There are three ways to keep lots of healthy mitochondria.

a) Do NOT take statin drugs which harm mitochondria severely, particularly when there are safer and more effective ways to improve blood lipids and reduce heart attacks and deaths from them!

b)  The supplements ubiquinol, quercetin, and PQQ if you take all 3 help your mitochondria stay healthy, make MORE mitochondria to replace ones that die, and clean out and remove mitochondria too damaged to save.

c)  Do the kind of progressive short and intense cardio with rests or slower parts to catch your breath such as the PACE program Dr Sears invented or doing a few sets of jump rope or race walk for several steps and walk slower until you almost recover and repeat

And/or do effective strength training with weights challenging for you to do the last few repetitions for each exercise.

Both kinds work.  And, people who do both kinds each week get the best results overall.

But new research reveals that slow rep strength training may work best.

One of the ways you can tell slow rep strength training is effective is that you can feel the lactic acid build up in them after your workout.  This continues even after you get used to the exercises enough your muscles no longer get sore.

Here’s where the exciting new research comes in!  It found that when you exercise hard enough to produce lactic acid, your body makes new mitochondria!!

(Other research found some time ago that after about 6 months from starting your muscle fibers also revert to those of a much younger person because of the changed genetic expression this creates.)

Lung power that Doctor Sears lists is also as important as he says it is. 

Just like healthy and very unhealthy mitochondria determine your effective age and ability to move, if your lungs are large, open, healthy, and efficient, all your body gets the oxygen for fuel and movement and function.  And your body also gets rid of the waste carbon dioxide well.

Doctor Sears says this:

"What most people don’t realize is the cells in your lungs start to die off faster than you replace them as you age — causing your lungs to shrink.

When your lungs shrink, your oxygen supply plummets. That's bad news for your strength, stamina and disease-fighting power.

Super-sized lungpower fights infection and keeps you disease resistant — even the common cold is no match for blood that's full of fresh oxygen.

A chronic lack of oxygen sets off a dangerous chain reaction: Your mind becomes foggy… your energy dries up… even the simple act of getting off the couch can leave you breathless… and your body becomes a helpless target for any number of deadly diseases.

And here’s the worst part… The smaller your lungs get, the greater your chance of dying — of ALL causes!"

He has also been able to show that the PACE style of short, intense cardio with rests that you do better and better over time that he teaches increases lung power. 

(And, of course, staying away from tobacco smoke 100% of the time also helps!)

What about slow rep strength training?  Surprisingly it increases lung power that well too!

The significant kinds of slow rep strength training that cause you to be out of breath at the end, the maker for this effect, all use the heaviest weights.

These include the kind of leg press that The Perfect Workout teaches; and squats to where the top of your thighs are parallel to the ground at the bottom of each rep; and deadlifts – all done slow rep style.

When you do those with enough weight you are literally out of breath at the end of each set!

3.  Here is a personal note of yet another exercise based way to slow aging that I discovered partly by accident.

If you feel younger, it also helps enormously and studies show this feeling itself also has anti-aging effects!

Did you know there is a third kind of exercise that will do that for you?

What I discovered recently is that adding 7 minute daily walks done interval cardio style with race walking sections and slower breath recovery sections helps an astonishing amount to give you the feeling of being young and healthy.

I was doing slow rep strength training and abdominal work done interval cardio style.  So I was fit and strong.

But even though I could walk fast or march up stairs with power as a result, I had to force it. I had to make an effort to do it.

Without realizing it, this extra effort needed made me feel older and limited.

Then much to my surprise my cardiologist challenged me to do daily walks.

I thought I had no place in my schedule to put them. 

Then I realized that if I kept them to just a half mile a day on weekdays around the parking lot where I work, I COULD at least do that.  I just do them close to first thing before I get too busy.

(Needless to say I’m VERY careful on the parts where I leave the sidewalk and cross the parking lot where cars go.)

I decided to do them interval cardio style.

Then after a couple of months, I realized that when I marched up stairs or walked fast it was EASY and effortless and I felt more capable and younger!

If you do all three kinds of exercise and take the 3 supplements that support you having enough healthy mitochondria, it will dramatically slow aging for you.  

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