Women today as young as in their 20’s, and all the way through their 70’s are turning to expensive potions and procedures in order to “slow the clock” on their appearance. But many of these treatments can be toxic, and do nothing for your body on the cellular level.
The best anti-aging regime begins within the body and starts with a nutrient dense diet. But another critical component that is often overlooked in the quest for a healthy and youthful appearance is strength training. Strength training is one of the most powerful and important things you can do to help slow aging from within.
Why Strength Training?
The actual aging process begins inside your body, and happens at the cellular level, long before it manifests externally. One of the issues that contributes to the appearance of aging is that we all lose a small percentage of muscle strength each year. This muscle atrophy is responsible for stooping shoulders, loss of strength and can contribute to poor balance.
Researchers at the University of Michigan conducted a study of 34 to 58-year old women who had varying amounts of muscle loss. Each of these women walked more slowly and had weaker legs than women of the same age who strength trained on a regular basis. Even though the women in the study were far from old, they had low energy levels due to their muscle loss.
A More Youthful Body
When you add strength training 3 to 4 times per week, it can help you firm up sagging muscles, lift your behind, flatten your stomach and improve your posture, all of which are associated with a youthful appearance. The added bonus is that muscle burns more calories while the body is at rest than fat does, so regular strength training makes it easier for you to maintain a healthy weight.
A Short, Effective Strength Building Workout
An effective strength training workout doesn’t have to consist of hours in a gym. You can get an effective workout in just 20 to 30 minutes per day at home. If you just begin by following this simple at home strength training routine below created by Ben Greenfield, World Class Triathlete, you will be on your way to your own personal anti-aging routine.
Complete all of the following exercises, then repeat the whole routine two more times. This routine should be performed 3 to 4 times per week.
- 50 jumping jacks
- 15 squats
- 15 pushups, or knee pushups
- 15 lunges
- 15 triceps dips
Jumping jacks: Yes, the same jumping jacks everyone did as a child. These work to build the muscles in your calves.
Squats: Squats work your thighs, hamstrings, behind and abs. Stand straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your arms extended straight out in front of you. Slowly lower your body, as if sitting in a chair, until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position.
Pushups: These work your chest and arms. Lie face-down on the floor with your palms touching the floor beside your shoulders. Your legs should be straight out behind you, ankles touching each other, and your toes touching the floor. Pushing your palms into the floor, straighten your arms, keeping your body straight. Hold for 1 second, then lower yourself back down until your body is almost touching the floor, then repeat. If this is too hard, start on your knees but be sure to have your body straight and your core tight.
Lunges: Lunges work to tone your legs and firm your behind. Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms down by your sides. Take a large step forward with one leg, and slowly lower your body until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Hold for 5 seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.
Triceps Dips: These firm up the back of your arms and banish the dreaded ‘bat wings’. Sit on a bench or stable chair, and place your hands shoulder width apart on it. Your fingers should be hanging off the edge, with your elbows pointed behind you. Slide off the bench with your legs extended straight out in front of you, heels resting on the floor. Your arms should be straight and your back close to the bench. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your body to the floor. Hold for 2 seconds, then straighten your arms.
Always check with your doctor if you are currently sedentary. Focus your diet on clean, whole plant based foods and your friends will soon be asking you what you are doing to look so amazing!