How To Stay Younger Longer
The Guardian has an interesting article that argues that physical decline is not inevitable as we age. While the human body seems to be limited to a lifespan of 120 years, there is no reason why the vast majority of those years cannot be healthy and vibrant.
It is not ageing that causes a decline in fitness; rather, that a decline in fitness causes ageing.
The most recent thinking is that the worst symptoms of aging just don’t happen to people who work out often. The key seems to be mixing intense training with rest, combining high intensity interval training with strength training. And eating a healthy diet. Here’s the advice:
How to get fit for life
1. Ramp up exercise gradually, preparing your body for the demands you wish to place on it. Walking is a great way to start. Just 10 continuous minutes at a brisk pace every day can reduce the risk of early death by 15%.
2. Aim for 10 or 20 minutes a week of high-intensity exercise – getting your heart rate up to at least 80% of its maximum. This means getting to the point where it feels unpleasant (sweating, raised heart rate, out of breath) and that you can’t keep it up for long.
3. High-intensity interval exercise should be followed by unloading activities, such as stretching and massage. Time-pressured people are tempted to extend exercise during a visit to the gym and skip stretching. Bad idea.
4. Keep to a 20:80 ratio for high:low intensity exercise. Also aim for some strength training (push-ups, squats, resistance bands) to build muscle and help to prevent later-life injuries, like those to the hip.
5. Avoid fads and eat a generally healthy diet, with plenty of vegetables and whole grains. Protein builds muscle and creatine powder in a glass of milk helps build and maintain muscle. Bone broth is good.