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I’ve found the best Anti-ageing secret

I’ve found the best Anti-ageing secret

I had an interesting conversation with my friends. It went like this: "I've had my gene test done & I'm feeling so much better since knowing exactly what nutrients to take for my gene type. But there's something else. I'm not sure what it is. I know I'm 35, but I just feel like I'm getting old. My body is feeling different. I'm still eating well & have the balance thing happening. I just can't work it out". And then one of my friends piped up "How many times a week are you exercising?". "Twice", I answered "Usually walking". "There's your answer then" she said. And my other friend nodded.

It was an Ah-Ha moment for me.

I knew it all interlectually. We're all told that exercise is good for us. And every study that I have read on Healthy Aging, talks about exercise being the number one aspect to keeping healthy. But this was different. I truely made the connection about why I needed to really increase my exercise. It would improve my wellbeing.

And it has. In the last 5 weeks I have upped my exercise. I'm doing weights at the gym once a week (and will increase it to twice), and I'm running around Albert Park Lake- I haven't made it all the way around, but I get further each time. And I'm now making it a priority.

Do I feel younger? Absolutely! Has my body changed? I think so. I don't really keep a good eye on it, but my mood has improved & I'm feeling better within myself. I know that slowly I will get stronger & stronger, both physically & mentally. It's not about becoming the "Incredible Hulk", it's about toning & building muscle that naturally we lose after the age of 30 (if we don't use it, we lose it).

So what is the right exercise?

  • Cardio exercise get's the heart rate up. Jogging & Aerobics are two examples of cardio.

  • Weight baring exercise (also called resistance exercise) helps to build up your muscle & improves your metabolic rate as you get older.(People who have more muscle are less likely to put weight on). Weight baring exercise includes doing weights, swimming (cardio as well) or using a stretch band.

Both are needed as optimal anti aging components....and I can tell you from experience, if you do some resistance exercise,  your cardio exercise  will improve (ie, I'm running further & further around Albert Park Lake each time).

So How can we improve our exercise?

I've called in an expert, Greg Jacobs. Greg has over 20 years experience as a Personal Trainer & Pilates instructor. Here's some  great info from Greg & some exercises that you can start doing from home to help get you started (with your doctor's approval of course!).

Greg says:

For resistance training to work there needs to be a system of progressive overload involved.

Overload simply means challenging the muscles to do more than what they are currently used to doing.

If a muscle is overloaded regularly and given sufficient rest and nutrition it will get stronger. In order for that process to continue the challenge then needs to be increased.

This increased challenge can take the form of increased resistance, (lifting a heavier weight), increased repetitions (doing 12 instead of 10), or doing a harder exercise.

For this reason I’ve demonstrated 3 versions of each exercise.

Start with the first version of each movement and aim to work to 80% of your perceived maximum effort.

IF you can do more than 15 repetitions of that exercise with good technique, without resting and without exceeding your 80% limit then you are ready to start the next hardest version of the exercise. If you hit your 80% limit before 15 reps, then continue doing that exercise 2-3 times per week until you can do 15 reps. then move to the next progression and start the process again.

Perform all movement in a controlled manner. It should take 3-4 seconds to lift and 3-4 seconds to lower.

As with any exercise program, you should consult with your medical professional to ensure these exercise are safe and suitable for you. This article is general in nature and these exercises are designed for people who do not now, or have not in the past, experienced any injuries or illnesses. Stop the exercise and seek medical advice if you experience pain during the exercises.

Lower body exercise

Body weight squats.

It is best to perform these in flat shoes or bare feet.

Pic 1                                                                    Pic 2                                                                  Pic 3

  • Stand upright with feet approximately shoulder width apart. (pic 1)

  • Bend your hips and knees to lower your butt as if you were sitting onto a low stool. Keep looking straight ahead.

  • Focus on keeping your spine ‘long’ and 50% of your weight on your heels. (pic 2)

  • Lift your arms in front to help your balance if you need to.

  • As you lower yourself into the squat make sure your knees travel forward inline with your second and third toes.

  • Stop lowering when you cannot maintain 50% of your weight on your heels or your back starts to bend.

  • Push through your heels to drive yourself back to the upright position. (pic 3)

Progression 1.

Step Back lunge.

It’s a great idea to use a pillow or foam pad to protect your knee from hitting the floor with this exercise.

Pic  4                                                               Pic 5                                                         Pic 6

  • Stand upright with feet shoulder width apart. (pic 4)

  • Step backwards with your right foot, keeping your feet shoulder width apart. (pic 5)

  • Bend at the hips and knees to lower your right knee to the floor, while keeping your body upright and eyes looking straight ahead.

  • Both of your knees should now be bent at right angles and your right foot should be directly beneath your right hip. (pic 5)

  • Push with your left heel to ‘drive’ yourself up to your starting position in one smooth movement. (pic 6)

  • Perform all your repetitions on the same side, rest for approximately 1 minute, and then perform a set for the other side.

Progression 2.

Inclined step up.

Use a step or box no higher than 30cm.

Pic 7                                                                                     Pic 8

  • Start with your left foot on the step and your body inclined forward to 45 degrees. Extend your arms in front of you for balance. Your right leg should be extended behind you, following the same line as your upper body. (pic 7)

  • Push through your left heel and drive your body into the upright position with your right leg lifted in the 90/90 position. (pic 8   )

  • Keep your weight on your left heel as you lower yourself to the starting position.

  • Perform all your repetitions on the same side, rest for approximately 1 minute, and then perform a set for the other side.

Upper body pushing exercises

You are not alone....everyone hates push ups! Push ups are not only great for upper body strength but they are also a lot better way to train your abs than doing crunches!

Push-up on a seat.

The lower the seat or bench, the harder the push-ups will be.

Pic 9                                                                                                  Pic 10

  • Place your hands on a seat or bench slightly wider than shoulder width. (pic 9)

  • You must have your hands at chest (nipple) level.

  • Keep your body like a plank, do not allow your hips and low back to collapse!

  • Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the point directly between your hands. (pic 10)

  • Push your self up and away from the seat to return to your start position.

Progression 1

Kneeling push-ups

Use a pillow or towel under your knees for this one.

Pic 11                                                                                                      Pic 12

  • Put you hands on the floor at chest level, slightly wider than your shoulders. (pic 11)

  • Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the point directly between your hands. (pic 12)

  • Keep your body like a plank as you push the floor away and return to the starting position.

Progression 2

Push ups

Pic 13                                                                                                  Pic 14

  • Use the same hand position as the previous version.

  • Place your feet about hip width apart.

  • Keep your body like a plank, do not allow your hips and low back to collapse! (pic 13)

  • Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the point directly between your hands. (pic 14)

  • Staying like a plank, push away from the floor.

Upper body pulling exercise

Don’t neglect these exercises. Pulling or rowing type movements strengthen the upper back muscles. These are some of the biggest muscles in the body and have a huge roll to play in posture as they help support your neck, shoulders and lower back.

To do these exercises you will need some type of resistance band. The one I’m using in the pictures can be purchased from most department stores.

Basic Row

Pic 15                                                                 Pic 16

  • Loop the resistance band around an anchor point and hold 1 end in each hand with your arms extended.

  • Stand with the knees and hips slightly bent with your weight balanced between heels and toes. (pic 15)

  • Concentrate on squeezing your shoulder blades together as your pull the resistance band.

  • Finish the pull when your elbows are by your side and your shoulders blades are squeezed together. (pic 16)

  • Slowly allow your arms to extend until you're in the start position again.

Progression 1

Single arm row.

Pic 17                                                                               Pic 18

  • The set up is the same as the basic row except both ends of the resistance band are in one hand. Stagger your feet so the foot opposite the working arm is forward.(pic 17)

  • Focus on squeezing the shoulder blades together as you row with the one arm. (pic 18)

  • Perform all your repetitions for the one arm, rest briefly, and then perform a set for the opposite arm.

Progression 2

Single arm row with step.

As well as strengthening the upper body pulling muscles this variation will also challenge your glut (bottom) muscles and your balance.

Pic 19                                                                                 Pic 20

  • Set up as you would for the single arm row except have your feet further apart and your body slightly inclined forward. (pic 19

  • Ensure that if you are using your left arm it is your right foot that is forward or vice versa.

  • As you perform the single arm row step forward, bringing the rear leg to the 90/90 position. ( Pic 20)

  • Step back as your arm extends to return to the start position.

  • Perform all your repetitions for the one arm/leg, rest briefly, and then perform a set for the opposite side.

Each time you perform an exercise it is called a rep or repetition.

A set is when you do a group of repetitions without resting. E.G. If you squat up and down, that’s 1 rep, if you squat up and down 10 times then rest; you have done 1 set of 10 reps.

Start by doing a single set of each exercise on 2-3 non consecutive days per week.

Increase it to two sets of each exercise in the second week.

3 sets in the third week.

Rest for 60 seconds between sets.

Greg Jacobs has been in the health & fitness industry for over 20 years & is the Director of  Stablebase which offers Personal Training, Strength & Condititioning,  TRX  & Studio Pilates. For more information go to www.stablebase.com or call 03) 9888 4403

This post is from Andrea Strand, a practicing Naturopath at Empowered Health. To find out how we can help you, call for a free, no obligation 5 minute phone briefing or call to book an appointment and say hello to good health!


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