It’s not something we think about every day, but once in a while this thought creeps into the mind of most everyone over 30; “I don’t feel as invincible as I use to”. That’s because sometime around 30 our bodies start to change, specifically our hormone production starts to decline. This declining hormone production affects the way we feel, perform and even think.
A reduction in testosterone production occurs as we age
The reduction in testosterone production that occurs as men age can contribute to increased feelings of fatigue, insomnia, weakness, increased body fat, lack of motivation, depression, and decreased sex drive. This decrease in testosterone level also adversely affects women (yes, women have testosterone to) causing low energy, diminished sex drive, anxiety and depression.
Growth hormone production also declines as we age
Our growth hormone production also declines as we age, in men and women alike. The decline in growth hormone also begins sometime around 30. This decline in growth hormone production has a significant impact on the aging process, including decreased lean body mass, lower bone density, less strength, and depression, as well as negatively impacting cell reproduction (affecting such aging issues as reduced skin elasticity, plus slower hair and nail growth).
Slow down the aging process through a combination of exercise and nutrition
Fortunately, you can significantly reduce the decline in hormone production and slow down the aging process through the proper combination of exercise and nutrition. Just a few (but highly critical) adjustments to your exercise and nutrition program can make a dramatic difference in the way we look, feel, perform, and our overall quality of life. Here are a few important guidelines we should all try to follow:
1) Incorporate High-Intensity Exercise
Short high-intensity exercise has been shown to boost testosterone as well as growth hormone production. There is probably no more important adjustment you can make to your fitness program when you are over the age of 30, than incorporating short-duration and high-intensity exercise. Explosive functional training or plyometrics burst type exercises (like we offer at G&L.com) will engage your fast muscle fibers and stimulate growth hormone production as well as lean muscle development.
As we age, the days of long and slow cardiovascular conditioning should be left behind, because a primary goal of our workouts should be to increase youthful hormone production. Unfortunately, excessive endurance training can have the exact opposite effect on overall good health, and when overdone can lead to a further decline in growth hormone production. Both Gabby and Laird make high intensity functional workouts the mainstay of their fitness program, as should we all.
2) Boost Intake of Essential Amino Acids
Our bodies depend on the availability of certain essential amino acids to both stimulate and optimize growth hormone production. The amino acids Glutamine, Arginine and Lysine when taken orally immediately after exercise and just prior to sleep is an effective growth hormone releasing agent, providing you combine high intensity training. These amino acids are found in protein such as fish, chicken, eggs and lean meat, but can more easily be obtained in the proper quality and timing through amino acid supplementation (such as TRUition Max).
3) Strength Training
As we age, it is also important to include strength training into your routine fitness program. Your body especially needs the benefits of weight barring exercise as we age, to maintain both skeletal and muscular strength. Unfortunately, you see far too many people gravitate to the treadmill and elliptical trainer as they age. When in fact the weight room or resistance equipment is what they really need. By simply moving to the next resistance exercise with minimal rest (circuit training), you can improve cardiovascular health while also providing your body all the benefits of strength training.
TRUition co-founder Don Wildman, who is still an avid cyclist and competitive racer at the age of 80, always reminds his friends and fans that he considers his infamous circuit training program far more important to youthfulness and overall good health than his cycling. “When time is at a premium, I always make sure my strength training workouts come first. If I had to make a choice, I would always choose circuit training over any other type of exercise”.
4) Consume More Protein
Without question, consuming plenty of fresh plants, fruits, and vegetables is important to overall good health. We all need the phytonutrient and immune boosting antioxidants from a broad diversity of fruits and vegetables (see TRUition Greens).However, because muscle development declines as we age; proper protein intake becomes even more important.
In order to get the full benefit of your strength training program, proper protein intake both before and after exercise is recommended. Such foods as eggs, lean meat, fish and chicken are high in protein. A cup of coffee before your morning workout is simply not the right fuel for muscle development, nor is pancakes or bagels with cream cheese. Some organic egg, or better yet an organic whey protein shake, is what you need (see TRUition Whey). Whey protein is actually more bioavailable than fish, meat, chicken or eggs, and therefor easier to digest and quicker for your body to utilize.
5) Get Proper Rest
There are two very important aspects of rest which can’t be overlooked or substituted in any way. During our periods of rest our muscles recover and rebuild. Without proper rest between high intensity workouts, we will not be able to effectively build more muscle. Additionally, hormone production is at its highest just after exercise and while you’re sleeping.
Once again, one of the primary fitness goals of anyone over 30 should be to offset declining hormone production in order to stay young. You simply must take the time to rest properly in order to get the maximum benefits from you exercise and nutrition program. There is no way around it.
Develop these few critical exercise and nutrition habits and stay young
It doesn’t take much to slow down (and in some cases reverse) the aging process. If you have been inactive for years, had a poor diet deficient in protein, fruits and vegetables, and a high stress lifestyle which lacks proper rest, then following the 5 anti-aging guidelines explained above will be life changing. We should all want to live a long and high quality life, and to help make that happen you just need to develop a few critical exercise and nutritional habits.