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The #1 way to slow the aging process and fight chronic disease (cheat sheet included)

The #1 way to slow the aging process and fight chronic disease (cheat sheet included)

The #1 way to slow the aging process and fight chronic disease (cheat sheet included)

By Published On: April 12th, 2024

At this time last year, I sent out a survey asking several questions about what was important to you regarding your health.  

The majority of the responses to the question “What are you specifically wanting to achieve and why is that important to you?” echoed a similar answer:

“I want to be strong.”
“I don’t want to feel old!”
“I want to be healthy and fit as I get older and to be able to chase future grandkids around the garden.”

So, I thought it would be helpful to provide you with the latest information on the best way to slow the aging process (you may want to save this one!).

It’s a fact that much of our aging process is based on genetic factors in our unique DNA.

However, the quality of your aging process and your ability to prevent lifestyle-related diseases is more in your control than you think – through your daily habits and lifestyle. 

Did you know that physically inactive people can lose as much as 3-5% of their muscle mass each decade after 30? (I write about this in my book; you can click this link to listen to all about FUNctional training in (Chapter 4 of the Play Book.)

Fortunately, strength training’s power keeps your body younger, stronger, and more functional as each year passes.

The significant benefits include:

  • Improved balance and stability: This doesn’t mean you become the Incredible Hulk. It means you are a solid, strong person who can lift their groceries, push their lawn mower and pick yourself up if you fall. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults, with 3 million older people treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries each year. Research shows that exercises focusing on balance and stability can significantly reduce the risk of falls by up to 50%.

 

  • Builds muscular strength & bone density: An 8-year-old puts a cast on his arm and returns to playing in 8 weeks. An 80-year-old is less fortunate. The ramifications of broken bones can be devastating. According to a study published in the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, resistance training, a key component of functional exercise, can increase muscle strength in older adults by 40% to 100%, which helps your bones because they are attached:)

 

  • Decreases body fat: Too much body fat isn’t good for you at any age, and too much visceral (belly fat) is a sign of metabolic syndrome, a collection of disorders that include high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol and insulin resistance. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight is essential, especially when preventing many diseases in aging populations, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, liver disease, sleep apnea and certain cancers.

 

  • Lowers the risk of chronic disease: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends strength training for most older adults to help alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, back pain, and depression.

 

  • Improves mental health: Ageing can bring with it a higher rate of depression and, for many, a loss of self-confidence. Strength training has been shown to improve your general wellbeing and can help lessen the incidence of depression. According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, older adults who engaged in regular physical activity had a 35% lower risk of cognitive decline than those who were inactive.

 

  • Enhanced Quality of Life and Independence: Functional exercise maintains physical ability and mobility, contributing to a higher quality of life and greater independence in older adults. Research published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity indicates that older adults who participate in regular functional exercise programs report higher levels of independence and satisfaction with daily activities than sedentary peers.

Our bodies are designed to have all our muscles “function” (aka functional training) together and support each other to accomplish specific movements and tasks in everyday life.

That’s the purpose of practicing functional strength training – so you can continue to do everything you like to do easily.

All functional exercise routines are based on “The Four Core” functional movements: pushing, pulling, squatting/level change, and rotating.

To help you, here is a “Cheat Sheet” PDF with Functional Bodyweight Exercises To Keep Strong At Any Age and a video showing what I mean by a few of the moves on Instagram.

While everyone is looking for a “hack” or a shortcut to building muscle, the good news is it doesn’t take as much time as you think!

Behaviour change, like strength training, often requires consistent effort over time. Start small and gradually increase the intensity or duration of your efforts.

Whether you use weights in a gym or your own body weight in the great outdoors, strength training leads to lifelong functionality, power, and neural coordination.

So, the #1 thing you can do to slow aging is build muscle strength through regular functional training exercises.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be that 80+-year-old climbing that mountain, kicking ass and having fun with my grandkids. 

Play on!

Your friend and coach,

Jan xo

PS: Whenever you are ready, here are 3 ways I can help you PLAY for life:

  1. If you want to complete the survey, click HERE
  2. Join the FREE 7-Days of Healthy Habits Course that can help you starting today.
  3. Do you want to work with me personally on your wellness goals? Click here to book a call.

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About the Author: Janet Omstead

To re-ignite people’s passion for play (movement) to fight chronic disease while improving their quality of life as they age.

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