Exercise Slows the Aging Process

Anti-aging is a huge concern and a growing market for manufacturers of nutritional supplements. People are always looking for the fountain of youth, that magic pill that is going to make them look younger and feel better.

Fortunately the best thing you can do to help slow down the aging process is to get outside and start exercising. The beauty of exercise - is that it's also the lest expensive thing you can do compared to swallowing handfuls of pills and applying expensive lotions on your body.

We've all heard how exercise helps lower blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and insulin levels. That it helps with depression, obesity, osteoporosis and the list goes on. But the two greatest reasons exercise is so important and beneficial is that it increases the amount of lean muscle tissue, as well as, triggers the release of your growth hormones…your repair hormones.

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The number one bio-marker or indicator that is used to determine how well someone will age is the percent of lean muscle tissue. Meaning the more lean muscle tissue you have the less health challenges you will have as you age. On the other hand, if you have a high ratio of fat tissue compared to lean muscle tissue, because of weight gain, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, you will have greater health challenges as you age. Those are just the simple facts!

Researchers have looked at all types of variables from body weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood types, insulin levels, amount of refined foods, types of fats, whether you take supplements, family history etc. But the number one indicator that predicts how well you will transition in later life is the percent of lean muscle tissue.

When you exercise you add lean muscle tissue to your body. It doesn't matter if you walk, swim, dance, bike, skate or lift weights. You are doing a physical activity that is going to build lean muscle tissue. This is important because lean muscle tissue is metabolically more active than adipose tissue and helps keep your bones and body strong as we age. This is important because many elderly people aren't strong enough to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom. This creates challenges and the need for assistance as we grow older.

The second HUGE benefit we get from exercise is that it triggers the production of our growth hormones. These hormones trigger the repair process and are responsible for keeping our body, bones and brain strong. Exercise and our daily difficulties wear our body down. It is the repair process, the release of our growth hormones that rejuvenates our body. This is one of the reasons so many people are trying to sell growth hormones in a bottle on late night television. It doesn't work the same way.

The two best ways to increase the levels of your growth hormones are to sleep and exercise. We're not going to discuss sleep, but if you are struggling with sleep problems, I would make it a point to address that issue. I have written about sleep and how to correct sleep problems in other articles. That being said, exercise triggers the release of our growth hormones. The more intense the exercise is - the greater the production of your growth hormones. But please don't think you have to train hard to enjoy the benefits of exercise. All you have to do is exercise. Walking is the easiest form of exercise.

I am not trying to make anybody an athlete. I just want people to get out and start moving their body. The benefits you get from exercise can outweigh all the pills, lotions and potions you could be taking to slow down the aging process.

Dr. Len Lopez is the author of "To Burn or Not to Burn, Fat is the Question" and hosts the radio show "Action Steps for Health. He is a nutrition and fitness expert and speaks extensively on how to "treat the cause – not the symptoms. To learn more about health and healing take the "online health quizzes" or sign up to receive his weekly health journal Health Tips with Dr. Len.

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