So you want to stay young? Unless you are the next Benjamin Button, chances are time is not the variable you can manipulate to reverse the process of aging.
But the exciting news is you CAN slow your aging. And significantly so.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Each human cell normally contains 23 pairs of chromosomes.
- At the ends of each chromosome are “caps” known as Telomeres.
- Telomeres protect the ends of the chromosome from deterioration.
- Recent research has shown that the faster the deterioration of the telomere caps, the shorter the individual’s lifespan.
The take-away message seems simple, right? If we can decrease deterioration of our telomeres, or even lengthen them we will live longer and more youthful lives.
According to Dr. Mark Hyman (MD), functional medicine Doctor and ten-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, strength training does just that- it holds the power for decreasing the rate of telomere degradation and promotes telomere lengthening.
But what does ANY of this actually mean for you in your daily life?
- As you age, strength training overpowers all other forms of exercise. Period. (Yes, including cardio.)
- Regardless if you are 14 or 74, have lifted your whole life or never picked up a weight, your fountain of youth simply resides in increasing your strength.
Let’s break down what increasing or maintaining your strength really looks like:
a) Exposure to heavy(ish) weights 2-3X per week, minimum.
(Sorry, mom. Those group gym classes do not make the cut.)
b) Sustaining strong connective tissues and healthy joints.
c) Building denser than normal bones.(Note: Weight training has consistently shown to increase bone density.)
There’s something to be said about building strength as a cure-all. Charles Poliquin, the man recognized as “…one of the World’s most accomplished strength coaches…”, referred to strength as the “master attribute”. Meaning, if you can achieve it and maintain it, everything benefits.
As strength coaches ourselves, we fully adopt Poliquin’s philosophy of Strength as the master attribute and have come to know the benefits owning real, healthy strength, including:
- Improved metabolism and body composition
- Stronger, denser bones and joints
- Increased range of motion
- Enhanced mental and physical energy
- Upgraded physical capacity
(Huge benefit: Eating what we want, when we want with no guilt.)
To sum it up, here’s what to do:
- Build a physical foundation (lift light weight for high reps)
- Strengthen the foundation (life heavy weights for low reps)
- Challenge yourself physically, 3X/wk minimum (with your doctors approval!)
- Live a longer, happier, more youthful life
Kelcie Hromisin and Matthew Dantone, dedicated fitness experts and personal trainers at Danko’s Gym in Plains Twp., are determined to help make NEPA residents healthier and more fit. Their Live Fit blog updates each Wednesday. If you have a question, reach out to them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, and your question may be featured in an upcoming blog post. Live Fit, NEPA.