Perhaps the most important factor in a fitness program as we age is having enough energy to maintain an active lifestyle. Due to the wear and tear of a lifetime of not taking care of ourselves, however, we may experience an "energy crisis".
Perhaps the most important factor in a fitness program as we age is having enough energy to maintain an active lifestyle. Due to the wear and tear of a lifetime of not taking care of ourselves, however, we may experience an “energy crisis.” Fortunately, there’s a way to refit and refuel!
We may think, “I can’t do what I used to do” or “I don’t have the vitality and stamina I used to have – how can I possibly stay fit?” But the way energy is produced in our bodies, the energy that is the actual currency of life is the very same whether you are 15, 35, 50, or 85 years of age. So energy currency can be kept at the maximum, regardless of age.
To restore your energy to peak capacity and have enough vitality for work, play, and exercise, you must:
Keep Your Energy Factories Fit
Researchers have concluded that the body is a “walking power plant.” Tiny furnaces known as mitochondria are found in every cell of the body (most highly concentrated in the brain) and use energy from food to make body-ready energy. The dilemma, according to Dr. Lester Packer in The Antioxidant Miracle, is that about five per cent of the power escapes and produces 90 percent of all the corrosive free radicals in your body.
Beginning at age 34, peak performance and healthy fitness levels begin to diminish drastically because of the accumulated free-radical damage to cells and the loss of the biochemical electric power produced by mitochondria. Cells plunge into an energy crisis and a cycle of failure, which take place at a greater rate in our brain than anywhere else in the body.
By taking a variety of antioxidant supplements, you can slow the body’s free radical damage and restore energy. Then you can get back into your fitness program and keep your body strong as you age.
Equally important is to eat plenty of bioenergetic whole foods; this is the only safe and natural way to increase body-ready energy. “Bio” means living food and “energetic” means food infused with the energy of the sun, so eat colourful seasonal ripe fruits, berries, salads, vegetables, “green drinks,” seeds, nuts, legumes, herbs, and sea vegetables.
Fuel-Producing Fitness Program
Once you have restored your energy levels, fitness becomes a joy, not a chore. Your fitness program should include both aerobic (lower impact for greater age) and weight-bearing activity.
In a landmark study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, the effectiveness of aerobic training was compared to aerobic combined with resistance (weight) training. Participants were split into two groups and had to complete a ten-week exercise program of 75 minutes. One group completed 75 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a week, while the other completed 40 minutes of aerobics plus 35 minutes of weight training. (Note that the time spent training was identical.) At the end of the study, the aerobics group presented an 11-per-cent increase in endurance, but no increase in their strength. The group that completed the combination of aerobics plus weight training showed a massive 109-percent increase in their endurance, and a 21-percent to 43-percent increase in their overall strength.
It is also best to perform weight bearing exercises first (with a good warm up) followed by cardio activity since it can take up to 20 minutes to free up fat reserves as a main fuel source. When you lift weights first, you create just the right stress response to activate your fat burning engines for the cardio portion of the workout.
True fitness begins and ends with energy. Enjoy it – all day long, all life long.
Antioxidant Supplements for Fitness at Any Age
Antioxidant supplements can actually reach the mitochondria, “catch” free radicals before they spin out of control, and restore energy levels. These supplements, according to Dr. Packer, include: