Slow Cellular Aging with These 2 Anti-Aging Exercises
Yes, it’s true that exercise, in general, is going to keep you looking and feeling younger than you would without a fitness regimen in your life. That said, are there anti-aging exercises you can use to further boost the effectiveness when it comes to looking great and feeling ageless? The answer is, yes!
“Whoever is always seated and does no physical exercise—even if he eats only healthy food and follows medical advice—will always be sickly and weak.”
~ Maimonidedes, medieval Jewish philosopher
These Exercises Slow Cellular Aging, and Here’s Why
While we all agree exercise is important, there are two forms of exercise that will provide greater benefit than others when it comes to cellular aging. Those are high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and endurance training. But why are these so effective?
According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, the two forms of cardiovascular exercise mentioned are pivotal when it comes to keeping cells young. Science shows that these two forms of exercise help keep your body young by preserving and even increasing telomere length.
What are Telomeres? Why Do They Matter?
You may or may not have heard the term “telomeres” thrown around. But what, exactly, does it mean, and how does it apply to anti-aging exercises? Telomeres are parts of our chromosomes that act as protection. They adhere to the ends of the chromosomes to protect and make sure the chromosomes stay healthy and youthful.
As you age, these telomeres start to shorten and degrade, allowing cells to die instead of dividing and growing to replenish and rejuvenate the body. Cell death equates to a breakdown of the body and aging. But, when you add the right kinds of exercise, namely cardio exercise, telomeres can not only lengthen, but the telomerase (an enzyme that helps keep the end caps healthy) can significantly increase. This translates to healthier, more youthful cells, and voila! This is how you slow cellular aging through the strategic use of exercise.
Studies show that cardiovascular exercise plays a major role in keeping your body young, but not just any old cardio will do. The two most effective forms are high-intensity training and endurance training practiced on a consistent and long-term basis.
According to The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
“For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week.”
The Top 2 Anti-Aging Exercises
1. High-Intensity Training and Anti-Aging
High-intensity interval training is important in your quest to keep telomere length intact. High-intensity interval training (or HIIT training for short) involves doing short bursts of very difficult cardiovascular exercise followed by a sort of “active rest” period of cardio. For example, you might sprint for 15 seconds followed by two minutes of a light jog. You would do multiple rounds of these exercises for about 20 – 30 minutes.
Here’s a sample anti-aging HIIT workout you can try:
- Begin with a 5- to 10-minute warmup on a treadmill or outdoors.
- Then increase your intensity to jog or run quickly (depending on your fitness level) for 15 seconds.
- Slow to a gentle jog or walk for 45 seconds.
- Repeat this sequence for a total of 15 minutes (or 15 times).
- Cool down for 5 minutes.
2. Endurance Training and Anti-Aging
There’s another piece of the anti-aging puzzle. You may have been expecting to read “resistance training” here, and while it’s also extremely important to engage in some form of regular weight training, especially as you get older, endurance training is actually at the top of the list when it comes to anti-aging exercises.
Endurance training, in contrast to high-intensity interval training, is a steady state form of exercise. This type of exercise could include long walks or jogs, hiking, or swimming laps. The idea is to get your heart rate up for an extended period of time.
What does an anti-aging endurance training workout look like? Begin and end with a five-minute warmup and cooldown. For the endurance part of the workout, aim for about an hour of steady state cardio that leaves you slightly out of breath but still able to talk.
While it’s incredibly important to participate regularly in both anti-aging exercises with high intensity interval training as well as endurance training, it’s also important for maintaining good health to continue resistance training, flexibility training, and monitoring your body composition and diet. In other words, follow a balanced exercise plan. All these factors play important roles in your ultimate health and longevity.