Diet and Exercise
As a master trainer, I teach proper exercise technique to folks of all skill levels; even other personal trainers. Today I’d like to share with you, a few rewards exercise can offer you, that you might not be aware of.
- Exercise makes your heart stronger.
Each day your heart beats, on average, 100,000 times, through an extensive network of blood vessels that stretch more than 70,000 miles. During exercise, muscles and other tissues require more oxygen, and nutrients, which means that the heart must work harder, and pump faster. Remember, your heart is a muscle too, and the more you exercise it, the more efficient it becomes at pumping blood throughout the body.
- You’re never too old to build muscle.
If you are older, and haven’t worked out in years-or even ever, resistance training (weightlifting) can help you build muscle, even on par with highly trained athletes of similar age. One study at the University of Birmingham found that “untrained older male” participants and “male master endurance athletes” both had an equal capacity to build muscle in response to resistance exercise. For you ladies out there, a University at Buffalo study concluded older women who engaged in a high level of physical activity reversed certain characteristics related to aging, such as slow walking, and decreased muscle function.
- Exercise prevents “visceral” fat gain.
Everyone needs a certain amount of body fat, but not all fats are created equal. Some belly fat can be “subcutaneous” fat, stored just below the skin’s surface, but visceral fat is a type of fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity. It’s sometimes referred to as “active fat”, because it can actively increase risks of serious health problems such as heart attack, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, raised blood pressure, breast and colorectal cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show aerobic exercise is an effective way to shed visceral fat but combining regular aerobic exercise with a healthful diet is more effective at targeting visceral fat than doing either one alone.
- Exercise boosts insulin sensitivity.
Insulin is a hormone that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from the carbohydrates you eat. As we age, our bodies don’t respond as well to insulin. This is known as “insulin resistance”. The diminished ability of cells to respond to the action of insulin, means the pancreas has to work harder to produce more insulin to transport the same amount of glucose from the bloodstream into muscles, and other tissues. This can lead to the onset of type 2 diabetes. Strength training, and aerobic exercise improve insulin sensitivity by increasing the number of glucose transporters which allow cells to better respond to insulin.
- Exercise creates new brain cells: It’s no secret exercise is good for your body, but did you know it’s beneficial for your brain as well. That’s right, it increases heart rate, which pumps more oxygen and nutrients to the brain, but regular exercise can do something even more amazing. It can actually encourage new brain cell growth by increasing “neurogenesis”. Neurogenesis is the process by which the brain creates new neurons, and brain cells. Australian researchers recruited 68 women, and 32 men ages 55 through 86, all of whom had mild cognitive impairment, and randomly assigned them to two groups. One group performed weight training exercises for six months. The other group did stretching exercises. The individuals that implemented weight training scored significantly higher on cognitive tests and retained that gain at least 12 months. Also, a study by University of Illinois researchers put 30 healthy, but sedentary men and women aged 60 to 79 on an aerobic exercise program. After six months their brain volume had increased, meaning more white and gray matter and increased connections formed between brain cells.
So, start exercising. It makes you leaner, stronger, fitter and smarter at any age.
Questions? Email David at firstname.lastname@example.org