Trying To Remain Young?

Do THIS To Keep Your Body Young

You’re never too old to get fit. You’re never too old to keep your body young. Adults in their 60s and older who jog or run at least 30 minutes at a time, three times a week are significantly less likely to experience age-related physical decline in walking efficiency than those who simply walk for exercise, according to researchers from Humboldt State University and the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Specifically, the older runners were between 7 percent and 10 percent more efficient at walking than those who didn’t jog. Think that doesn’t sound like much? It is. Older adults who run have the same “metabolic cost” of walking as do young adults in their 20s.

Metabolic cost is the amount of energy needed to move, and it naturally increases as we age. A high metabolic cost can make walking more difficult and tiring, and it’s well known that a decline in walking ability is a key predictor of morbidity in older adults.

The study: Co-led by Justus Ortega of Humboldt State and Rodger Kram of the University of Colorado, the team followed joggers over the age of 65–those who ran at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week–and walkers of the same age who walked three times a week for 30 minutes.

The participants were asked to walk on a treadmill at three speeds (1.6, 2.8 and 3.9 miles per hour) as researchers measured their oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production.

The results: Overall, the older joggers were between 7 percent and 10 percent more efficient at walking than older adults who just walked for exercise. Their metabolic cost was similar to young people in their 20s.

Researchers aren’t yet sure what makes joggers more efficient than walkers, but they believe it may have something to do with the mitochondria found in cells. Evidence suggests that people who exercise vigorously have healthier mitochondria in their muscles.

“The bottom line is that running keeps you younger, at least in terms of efficiency,” said Kram.

Future studies are planned to examine whether other highly-aerobic activities, such as swimming and cycling, also mitigate age-related physical decline.

The study findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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The Best Time of Day to Exercise

Finding time to exercise can be difficult, so you want to make sure that the time you spend huffing and puffing on a treadmill is worth it.

Since muscle strength, muscle flexibility, hand-eye coordination and lung function tend to peak in the afternoon, the best time to exercise is between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. And within that range, 5 p.m. is the ideal time, the Wall Street Journal reports of a study from Albany Medical College in New York. In addition, the risk of injury is lowest from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

And it’s not just exercise for which there is an ideal time of day. Our bodies work with the ebb and flow of our circadian rhythms of waking and sleeping. When we pay attention to that–instead of fighting it–we get a lot more done, more effectively and more efficiently. We have more energy. We’re more alert. Basically, there is a peak body time for almost everything.

Just going with the flow of your natural body clock can also reap big health benefits. When circadian rhythms are interrupted, it can potentially lead to type 2 diabetes, depression, dementia and obesity. But when your body clock is fully synced with your daily activities, it gives you an edge.

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