Monthly Archives: April 2016

EXERCISE TYPE and LONGEVITY

We know from various studies that you can actually increase your longevity with exercise. But, which ones are the most beneficial? A study(1) divided 2613 Finnish athletes into three groups: 1. ENDURANCE ATHLETES (runners, cyclers) 2. POWER ATHLETES (boxers, weights) and 3. TEAM SPORTS (soccer, basketball, hockey). The results, when compared to Finnish non-athletes are that 1. Power athletes live 1.6 yrs. longer. 2. Team sports produced 4.0 extra years and 3. Endurance sports resulted in 5.7 extra years of life.

The key here is V02 max or the maximum amount of oxygen needed for exercise.  Activities that require you to breath the hardest are the best. Jogging has other advantages in that it’s the best calorie burner per minute of exercise. It will strengthen you knees and bones. It improves brain function including memory. This and most exercises improves mood and helps prevent depression.

You don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from aerobic exercise even as we age. Most seniors I know become involved with distance walking, cycling or aerobic classes. We lose muscle mass as we age, so I believe that some weights should be involved in your routine for a balanced workout. If you are running, the baseline for benefits are 30 minutes 3 times a week. If you’re walking for your exercise, then it is 30 minutes 5 times a week.

(1) Serna, S. et al. “Increased Life Expectancy of World Class Male Athletes” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Vol 25, #2. Feb 1993.

INCREASE YOUR METABOLISM

Did you know that you can increase your metabolism and burn more calories with every activity. We know it becomes more difficult to lose weight when our metabolism slows down as we age. But, we’re not going to sit around and let that happen. Here is what you can do about it.

1. EXERCISE — This is certainly the most effective boost to your metabolism by far. Studies show(1) that vigorous exercise can increase the calories you burn by almost 200 a day in the 14 hours after your workout. Vigorous means breaking a sweat. Aerobic and anaerobic both work as long as you include periods of intensity. Weights are intense and if you walk for exercise, you want to include bursts of running for best results.

2. BREAKFAST — Eating breakfast jump starts metabolism and keeps energy high all day(2). Not only should you eat breakfast, but be sure its high in protein. This provides better glycemic control for your blood sugar for the entire day. So, you won’t get as hungry. Try eggs and greek yogurt topped with fruit.

3. GREEN TEA vs COFFEE — Both increase your metabolism, but tea helps you burn about 100 extra calories over the day while allowing more fat to be burned. It appears to be due to the combination of tea catechins or antioxidants paired with the caffeine.

4. DAILY ACTIVITIES — Your activity level does make a difference not only to burn calories, but for longevity too. Walk errands rather than drive. Do you own house cleaning. Stand up and move around every hour if you have a sedentary job. I even stand to watch TV if I’ve been sitting over an hour.

5. DARK CHOCOLATE — In a study(1) where subjects ate about 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate a day for two weeks, their metabolism became more regulated. This also reduced stress hormone levels. Women who have more stress hormones had a slower metabolism.

6. AVOID PROLONGED HUNGER — Starvation diets with less than about 1200 daily calories for women actually slows metabolism(2).  This is less than needed for biological functioning and throws your body into survival mode–burning less calories. So, eat healthy and consistently throughout the day–but don’t over do it.

7. GET IRON AND PROTEIN — Menstruation causes women to lose iron each month. Iron is needed to carry oxygen to muscles to burn fat and must be replaced. Studies also show that protein can increase the after meal calorie burn by as much as 35%. Notice that the graph above with 15 metabolism foods are high in iron, protein, and antioxidants.

In conclusion, it becomes more difficult to lose weight as we age because our metabolism naturally slows. So, we’re determined to compensate by adapting to an active lifestyle and a proven diet. These healthy behaviors will also extend our longevity by keeping our weight down and our activity level up.  L. Johnson  of  www.creativeretirementforwomen.com

Photo: flatbellybible.com                                                                                                                              (1) Migala, J. 4-20-2015 10 Ways to Speed Up Your Metabolism In just One Day. Retrieved from prevention.com on 3-16-2016                                                                                                                   (2) Yeager, S, 11-3-2011 Eating Rules to Rev Your Metabolism All Day Long. Retrieved from prevention.com on 3-16-2016