Training is the opposite of aging
Cosmetics, Diets, and Miracle Formulas: The debate over anti-aging recipes rages on, and continues to transform. Many things have been said and contradicted. When we talk about anti-aging, the first thing that comes to mind is cosmetics, but it seems that the best ally for staying young as long as possible, from all points of view, is sports.
This is one of the topics that will be discussed during the World Health Summit, which will be held at Technogym Village. Delegates will talk about upcoming trends, and career opportunities in the wellness field, with special attention to the Italian context in sectors such as food, art, design and fashion.
The first thing you have to do is change your point of view
To fully understand the relationship between training and aging (and how to delay its effects), it is necessary to first shift perspective. This was explained by Jeff Berkowitz, an American journalist, in his book Play On: How To Get Better With Age. It is not the fact of old age that causes the weakness of the physical condition, but rather the opposite. In this book, Mr. Berkowici wanted to dispel the myth that human life is a linear process that leads to a slow decline in bodily functions.
And what better testimony than that of athletes who are still on the right track after having crossed the usual age limit in their discipline? Roger Federer and Serena Williams, to name a few. The journalist started from his story to offer a new perspective on anti-aging, highlighting a key element: staying young for a long time is not the exclusive right of professional athletes.
Training not to age
What do high intensity training, strength training, spinning and meditation have in common? At this point, the answer isn't obvious, but it's simple: All of these forms of physical activity can be considered anti-aging practices.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), a training method in which alternating moments of intense activity with calmer exercises, appears to activate physical processes that have various benefits at the cellular level. In this case, the secret will be to find the right balance. The ideal is to distribute the training in the following way: 20% at high intensity, 80% at low intensity. But how do you know you've reached your target high density? The most effective indicator is heart rate: it should increase significantly, to the point that exercise becomes unpleasant. As you train, ask yourself if you can maintain this level of intensity for a long time. If the answer is no, then you are on the right path.
Equally important is strength training to combat the various symptoms of aging, such as muscle weakness, weight gain, and cognitive impairment. Nobody knows better than athletes how important it is to be muscular enough to avoid accidents.
The benefits of strength training don't stop here. First of all, this type of physical activity is fundamental to building and maintaining skeletal muscle, which is closely related to weight. In fact, skeletal muscle burns a lot of calories, and reducing them slows down the metabolism, which is the main cause of weight gain that often occurs with age. Additionally, strength training is associated with neurological benefits. This type of exercise appears to actually be able to stimulate cognitive functions.
Practice being beautiful
As we said above, physical activity has a positive effect on the physical condition, but also on the aesthetic level. Belgian researchers have already found that a 45-minute spin session, like other types of cardio exercise like running or dancing, increases NRF1 production. This protein protects telomeres located at the ends of chromosomes, exerting protective actions on cells.
Over time, telomeres tend to shorten, which leads to aging of cells. These activities appear to be able to slow down this process, keeping the cells in good condition for a longer period, with a noticeable rejuvenating effect.
Telomeres were the subject of a study by the University of California, which was interested in the effects of stress. It is already known that stress is an enemy of health, but the American study showed that if it is present in a chronic way, stress can accelerate the deterioration of telomeres, and thus aging.
If adjusting one's routine to make daily life less stressful doesn't seem easy to implement, meditation or other mindfulness practices can be helpful: 30 minutes of relaxation a week can improve our quality of life, even make us more beautiful.