How to Use Exercise to Live Younger, Longer

Posted in: Supplements · Exercise

Susan Ohtake, CPT

While genetics play a role in how people age, there are also concrete steps that people can take to improve their health and lead longer lives.

Think about it this way:

The cells in your body cannot tell time on their own. How old you are in years is a number based on a calendar your cells can't understand.

How old you are biologically -- how your body functions -- is determined by the signals your cells receive from hormones your brain releases. While the way hormones are released and how they are released changes as you get older, there are steps you can take to change how quickly changes happen and how your cells respond to changes.

Today, I want to talk about one of the most important elements of the cells in your body: Mitochondria.

Healthy Mitochondria: The Key to Longevity

Protecting mitochondria or the "powerhouses" inside your cells is one of the KEYS to longevity.

It is because of these powerhouses that we're able to muster up the energy to work for eight hours and then come home to take care of our family. But, there's a catch here. Not all mitochondria are created equal, which is why we have to do our part.

Mitochondria are the heart of everything that occurs in our body. Because of their important role, it is extremely important that we give our mitochondria the nutrients they need be healthy. Simply put, healthy mitochondria lead to a healthy and happy body.

What can you do?

There are many concrete steps that you can take to build mitochondria health. Some of these are outlined below.

Diet is key!

A healthy diet that leads to longevity will be a diet that is high in good proteins and healthy fats. Some carbohydrates can be included in this diet. However, these carbohydrates should not be processed. For example, white bread is bad. Quinoa is good!

Embracing a gluten free diet is also the way to go. Gluten creates inflammation in the gut and throughout the entire body. Inflammation may cause a wide range of health problems and speed up the aging process. However, gluten is not the only nutrient that causes inflammation. Many people experience the same symptoms from dairy. Therefore, the longevity diet should cut out dairy products.

Vegetables are also a healthy addition to a diet focused on longevity. However, not all vegetables are created equally. The most important vegetables to include in your daily diet are: broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts. There are thousands of healthy and delicious recipes that use these vegetables available on the Internet. A quick Google search can give you some helpful suggestions that fit your budget, cooking skills, and taste preferences.

But Diet Alone Isn't Enough

Diet is a great first step towards achieving health and longevity, but diet alone is not enough. Another important step is exercise!

High intensity interval training (HIIT) can also help you live longer.

This type of exercise has the ability to improve age-related decline in muscle mitochondria.

Studies also show that HIIT increases the production of proteins in cells that are essential for normal body function and mitochondrial health.

Processes that normally slow with age are reversed with HIIT workouts!

With interval training, you exercise for shorter periods of time, but at a high intensity level. Many fitness experts, including myself, believe that these interval exercises are even more efficient at burning fat and building health (compared with more traditional exercise).

Besides, who wants to run on a treadmill for hours when you get the same results in 30 minutes? Busy women like you and I need all the time we can get!

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