Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Natural Anti-Aging Strategies

As the Baby Boomer generation reaches retirement age we are seeing an increase in research in the field of anti-aging. Baby Boomers as a group are active and want to maintain their physical activities long after retirement age.

Research shows that growth hormone is a key component in anti-aging as the levels of this important hormone drop off throughout adult life and contribute to the signs of aging. There are anti-aging clinics that use injections of growth hormone as part of their protocol. However, natural growth hormone production in our own bodies is much more effective.

Growth hormone is involved not just in growth but in the daily maintenance of the body parts. All cell growth and repair is controlled by this hormone. We know that the body is constantly breaking down tissues and replacing them with new tissues. This is a normal function and helps us to adapt to the stresses we place on our systems on a daily basis. As we age, the rate of rebuilding tissues can decrease and this leads to visible signs of aging. There is a decrease in growth hormone production as well.

There are certain things that you can do in order to maximize your growth hormone production.

• The first is caloric restriction.

This means first keeping your calorie intake appropriate to your activity level but also it relates to intake of food after exercise. There are many calorie calculating programs online that use your height, weight and gender to determine appropriate calorie levels. It may be less than you think.

• Another point is peak fitness which means that you exercise for short intervals at peak intensity (90 seconds) and you do this several times throughout the workout.

This allows you to perform shorter workouts as well. It is important to avoid consuming any sugar for 2 hours after working out. Most sports drinks contain large amounts of sugar and so it is better to consume some water after working out. The periods of intense exercise trigger the production of growth hormone but if you take sugar within that 2 hour window after exercise you will stop the production. Check out previous posts related to peak fitness.

• Get adequate sleep 7-8 hours is best and including a couple of 20 minute naps throughout the day is even better.

• Finally - the old adage of "use it or lose it" is true. If you don't exercise you will lose strength in your muscles and joints. If you skip stretching your muscles will tighten. Stretching is particularly important to do daily. Have a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and limit sugar. And remember - if you argue for your limitations by saying "I'm too old to do exercises" those limitations will surely be yours.

No comments: