With your first grey hair often comes the startling realisation that you are not going to live forever. Of course, you have always known that life is finite that all of us must “check out” at some stage but when we see the first signs of growing older we often get a wakeup call about our own mortality.
Getting older is inevitable. However, growing old is optional!
What do I mean by this?
Well, we all have to get older but we can take steps to stay feeling and looking young.
Although our bodies do tend to slow down as the years pass by we can take proactive steps to keep our bodies working at optimal level.
Although this may seem like trying to hold back the tide there is actually much more at work here than just making yourself feel like you are taking action.
For instance, a seasoned 60 year old marathon runner can, and is usually, fitter and in better shape than a “normal” 35 year old.
In many cases when people in middle age take up fitness they feel better than they did when they were in their 30′s.
Recent research, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, documents evidence for the anti-aging effects of exercise.
In the British study researchers found that regular moderate to vigorous cardio exercise can postpone biological aging by up to 12 years.
I’m sure all readers will agree that a 12 years reduction in biological age is well worth the effort of regular exercise.
As a natural part of the ageing process the ability to perform aerobic exercises diminishes as we get older.
Our aerobic capacity starts to decline at a rate of 5 ml/[kg*min] every 10 years or so.
This simply means that if you had a normal aerobic capacity of 40 ml/[kg*min] when you were 20 then by the time you hit 40 your aerobic capacity would be at 30 ml/[kg*min].
To get a better “feel” for what these numbers mean consider the fact that when a man’s aerobic capacity goes below 18 ml/[kg*min], and a woman’s dives below 15 ml/[kg*min], any type of physical exertion becomes very tiring and difficult to complete.
Reversing the Ageing Process
It stands to reason that keeping your aerobic capacity number high will mean a better standard of interaction with life as you get older.
According to the research study fairly robust cardiovascular exercises, when performed regularly and over a period of years, can boost aerobic power in any normal person by up to 25%.
This equates to a reduction of between 10 and 12 years for most normal people!
Although many people rarely get enough exercise it is never too late to start.
It has been shown that starting a healthy cardio exercise program at any stage, even after years of inactivity, can start the biological age reversal process.
How to Turn Back the Clock
We have seen that increasing your aerobic capacity can reverse biological ageing. Now we need to determine how we can increase your aerobic capacity.
To improve aerobic capacity you must start working your heart and lungs forcing them to expand their abilities.
If you have ever trained using weights in order to tone your body or build muscle you will know that you must challenge your muscles in order for them to grow and develop the way you desire.
To get stronger you need to regularly y increase the weight you lift or expand the bodybuilding exercises you perform.
In a similar way you must increase your cardio workouts in order to continually challenge you heart and lungs.
Luckily this takes a lot less effort than weight lifting and can be much more enjoyable. You do not need to run a marathon every week to stay fit and keep the biological clock moving slowing backwards instead of racing forward.
Interval training can also be a great way of increasing your metabolism as well as increasing your aerobic capacity and this form of exercise is often the cardio of choice for many athletes.