The fountain of youth!

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Did you know the fountain of youth is right in front of you, available to you today, right now, at no cost but to lace up your sneakers and work up a sweat? 

Regular physical activity can make you younger on a cellular level than those who lead a sedentary life.  Committing to a level of high activity (HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or running, 30 – 40 minutes a day at least 5 days a week) is said to suppress inflammation and stress.  In particular, HIIT has been said to have the potential to reverse some cellular aspects of aging

If this high a level of activity seems intimidating, don’t be put off – upping your dose of movement in any way will bring benefits.  Developing a regular exercise practice that suits your body and lifestyle will increase your energy, improve your mindset and change your body.  Start by experimenting with different types of exercise that appeal to you, if don’t know where to start, think about what you loved to do as a child.  Did you dance, bike, walk?  Begin here and think about what appeals to you now then pick one or two that you love.

Above all, BE CONSISTENT with your practice.  Make movement part of your life.  Consistency is more important than how much you are working out and as time goes on you will find your stamina increase.  See your workout less as a way to lose weight and more as a commitment to yourself in order to improve your overall health – mental and physical. 

Another aspect to consider is STRESS REDUCTION.  Whether your goal is to lose pounds or retain your current weight, reducing stress is key, and regular exercise has an important role to play in this.  Chronic stress leads to the suppression of anabolic hormones, this can lead to abdominal fat and an elevation of cortisol and insulin which in turn results in cravings for sugary, fatty foods.  Regular aerobic exercise lowers levels of these stress hormones allowing your body to function optimally.  A consistent relaxation practice, such as yoga or meditation, can also help keep cortisol levels in check.

No matter where you are in your fitness journey, it is important to listen to your body.  Know that movement is a lot like food.  Once you understand how different types of movement nourish your body in different ways, you can put together a “menu” of activities to keep yourself in balance.  How are you feeling? Frail or unfocused?  Try a vigorous exercise to make you feel stable and powerful, such as kickboxing or running.  Tight and tense?  Try something gentle to increase lightness and flexibility, like swimming or yoga.

No matter what your fitness level or exercise choice, make a commitment and honor yourself by sticking with it!

Leela Le NouryComment