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Six Proven Ways to Slow Down Aging

Posted Jun 01 2007 12:00am

Beautiful girlIn This Issue:

By Al Sears, M.D.

You know that as you get older, you”re going to physically change for the worse. I”m convinced that if you effectively address these physical “age markers,” your health span will soar and you”ll look and feel younger.

I”ve measured how physical capacities change with age. Then, I”ve tracked each change against efforts to reverse them. I”d like you to focus on six important physical age changes that you can reverse.

1. Loss of lean tissue mass. Your muscles and internal organs are lean tissues. As we age, most of us lose both muscle and internal organ weight and replace the lean tissue with fat. People who age well, who seem to be far younger than their years, retain their lean tissue mass. Indeed, the Evergreen Project found that the more lean tissue you have the longer your life, the fewer your illnesses and the better your mental functioning.

Lean tissues protect you from many age-related ailments:

  • Reduces risk of bone fractures by supporting bones.
  • Improves sexual health by stimulating sex hormone production.
  • Reverses hormonal age by boosting human growth hormone.
  • Helps you keep trim by boosting your metabolic rate.
  • Gives you more energy by increasing glycogen stores.
  • Decreases risk of infection by strengthening your immune system.

Lean tissue loss begins at age 30, with an average of three pounds lost per decade. Yet the loss is preventable and completely reversible. I”ve seen patients of all ages regain 100 percent of their youthful lean mass.

To build muscle mass, you must engage your big muscles. The quadriceps on the front of your thigh, the hamstrings on the back of your leg and the gluteus of the buttocks are your three biggest. Provide stiff resistance through a broad range of motion for these three muscles. This can include weight training with squats or leg presses, bodyweight exercises, bicycling, stair-steppers or elliptical machines.

2. Shrinking lungs. As years pass, your lung volume shrinks. By the time you”re 60, you”ve lost up to 40 percent of your lung volume. Here”s how you can measure yours: Ask your doctor to give you a pulmonary function test to check your lung capacity. I find it very valuable to monitor the benefits of exercise at reversing the loss of lung volume that afflicts so many elders.

3. Diminishing heart capacity. Most people don”t realize that they”re losing heart capacity until it”s too late – when they”re in the emergency room after a heart attack. Yet you can get a gauge of your heart capacity by measuring your recovery heart rate.

Begin by walking comfortably for two minutes. Then measure your heart rate by locating your pulse on your wrist and counting the number of beats for 15 seconds, then multiply by four to get the beats per minute. This is your normal-activity heart rate. Now do a round of jumping jacks. Then, after two minutes measure your heart rate again.

Next, check your heart rate until it returns to your normal-activity rate. The amount of time from peak activity back to your normal-activity heart rate is your recovery time. The fitter you are, the faster your heart rate will recover back to normal.

If you don”t practice short-burst cardio, your heart and lungs have probably lost capacity. Here”s what to do. Use short bursts of cardio to get your heart rate to a target range for your age. Start at 60 percent of your maximum heart rate. (Your maximum heart is 220 minus your age.) In a few weeks work up to 80 percent of your maximal heart rate.

4. Increasing body fat. If you don”t act to prevent it, fat slowly but relentlessly replaces lean tissue as you age. But again, this shift is not inevitable.

Start by measuring your body fat. Get it measured at the gym or use a set of calipers. My youthful body fat goal is 8 to 16 percent for men and 12 to 24 percent for women.

Fat loss starts with adequate protein. This signals your body that, “the hunting is good.” What do you need to store extra body fat for if you will eat well again tomorrow? To put your body in fat-burning mode, over-consume protein, and minimize everything else. This is one piece of advice where I get a lot of resistance. If you can have some faith and try it, you”ll see too how much easier it makes losing fat and achieving a more youthful body.

Finally, short bursts of exercise burn fat best. Short bursts use energy from carbohydrates stored in muscle rather than from fat. Carbs burn energy at a much higher rate. You then burn off your fat during the recovery period as you replenish the carbs.

5. Thinning bones

6. Loss of functional strength. You can use the same routine to build bone density and functional strength. As it turns out, your bones respond to stressors put on them by increasing their density. And, if you are effectively stressing your bones, you will also be building functional strength.

Most adults lose 1 percent of bone mass annually. As you lose bone minerals, your bones become lighter, more porous, weaker and at greater risk for fracture. Unfortunately, a bone must lose a quarter of its weight before a standard X-ray can see the problem. Instead, get a bone mineral density test (BMD). The best BMDs test the bones of your lower spine and hip. These areas are at higher risk for fracture as you age.

If your BMD detects trouble, you can increase bone density and strength with weight-bearing exercise such as walking, bicycling, swimming or weight training. Focus on increasing intensity in all of these exercises.

Taking calcium will have little effect on this loss of bone with age. But you can help reverse the process with the only vitamin that”s also a hormone, vitamin D. Take 400 IU of vitamin D daily or one tablespoon of cod liver oil (the best native vitamin D source).

Get started on your own physical anti-aging program today. Begin nice and easy. You”ll have to build up to some of the exercises. If you feel any pain, dizziness or shortness of breath, slow down. Just get started and try them. The age-defying results will surprise you.

[Ed. Note: Dr. Sears, Chairman of the Board of Total Health Breakthroughs, is a practicing physician and the author of The Doctor's Heart Cure , is a leading authority on longevity, physical fitness and heart health.]

Guy exercisingExercise & Fitness:

By Jon Benson

If you”re trying to burn fat, I have some very interesting news for you. A recent study finds that weight training is far superior for burning body fat and elevating metabolic rate post-exercise than any other exercise.

This is rather eye-opening for the “cardio bunny” crowd those folks who swear by endless hours of spin classes or elliptical workouts to burn fat.

A body mass study conducted by The Human Performance Laboratory at The University of Wisconsin demonstrated that weight training of a specific variety and rep scheme elevated metabolic rates (measured though VO2 max) for 39 hours. In comparison, the average 40-minute cardio session elevated the metabolism for only a few hours post-exercise.

The ideal way to do this is not with machines, Pilates, or baby dumbbells, but with free weights. Exercises should be targeted in the eight- to 12-repetition range for maximum effect. True elevation of metabolic rate did not occur if weights were too heavy, involving exercises that were done for less than six repetitions, or too light, involving exercises requiring more than 12 repetitions to complete.

Like a good investment, a brief but targeted weight training routine conducted just two or three times per week can produce rewards that are both short-term and exponentially powerful. When combined with a fat-burning nutrition plan and stress-reducing exercise (such as yoga, walking or Pilates), the rewards are greater still.

[Ed. Note: Jon Benson is a lifecoach and nutrition counselor who specializes in helping individuals discover a life-altering mind/body connection. His work in the field of post-40 fitness and mental empowerment has helped countless thousands rediscover their youthful body and positive outlook. Discover how you can do the same at by clicking here or here. ]

Spinach saladRecipes and Nutrition:

By Kelley Lunsford

Summer is a great time for fresh produce. This crisp organic salad (perfect for a light afternoon lunch with friends) is loaded with folate and also provides lutein and zeaxanthin –two nutrients that guard vision and help protect against certain cancers. So keep cool and stay healthy at the same time!

Serves: 4

Time to Table: 10 minutes

Healing Nutrient Spotlight:

  • Anthocyanins, lutein, zeaxanthin
  • Excellent source of folate
  • Good source of protein, calcium, riboflavin and copper


8 cups fresh organic spinach
2 ounces organic, plain feta cheese
2 cups fresh organic blueberries
1/4 cup slivered organic almonds


Arrange spinach on four plates. Top each plate with 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 Tbsp. slivered almonds and half an ounce of feta cheese. Dress with our Blueberry Vinaigrette or try Drew`s All Natural Raspberry Dressing.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

131 calories, 7 g total fat, 2.4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 3 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 12 mg cholesterol, 204 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 8 g sugars, 6 g protein

[Ed. Note: Kelley Lunsford is the Founder & CEO of Healing Gourmet, a multimedia company that educates on how foods promote health and protect against disease. She is also the creator of Healing Gourmet's Personalized Nutrition Software and Editor-in-Chief of the Healing Gourmet book series published by McGraw-Hill, including Eat to Fight Cancer, Eat to Beat Diabetes, Eat to Lower Cholesterol and Eat to Boost Fertility. For more information Click here to visit her website .]


By Norma Reid

Summer is a wonderful time of year, a time when we naturally are drawn outdoors to enjoy the beauty of this incredible planet, to smell the flowers and witness the incredible growth and abundance of Mother Nature. It is a time when most of us naturally have more energy and feel more positive, when we get out and play more often, which is good for the body, mind and soul.

And for some of us, it”s that dreaded time of year: bathing suit season. We realize that we may not have paid attention to what we ate or how much exercise we did over the winter. For some of us a barrage of negative self-talk showers us.

It did me. For years I had this continuous cycle. I”d gain a few pounds, join a gym or exercise program, work out regularly and eat healthier. I”d feel great. I”d tell myself I would continue eating properly and exercising for life. Then I”d gradually go back to my old habits, stop exercising and eat whatever I wanted. I”d gain weight, start feeling sluggish and get disgusted with myself. So I”d join another gym and go through the whole cycle again and again, each time gaining a few extra pounds. I got to the point where I didn”t think I would ever be anything but fat.

Then I realized that getting into great shape meant getting into great shape mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well as physically. As the writer Rumer Godden said, “There is an Indian belief that everyone is in a house of four rooms: A physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not complete.”

My challenge to you this week is to take inventory of how you care for yourself spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Is there a room or two that needs some attention?

Take five minutes tomorrow morning to meditate in your bedroom. Don”t grab for the cell phone next time it rings. Tell your spouse you love him out of the blue. Go for a walk on the beach on Sunday morning.

Happy summer!

[Ed. Note: Norma Reid is a Success Coach and Trainer. Living a fabulous life is not just about the physical, it's also the mental, emotional and spiritual. If you are ready to realize your magnificence and live the life of your dreams check Norma"s website, by clicking here ].

AppleWeight Loss:

By Dr. Matthew Anderson

If you want to lose significant weight and keep it off, you need to get out of your Comfort Zone and move into your Alive Zone.

Your Comfort Zone (CZ) is that small, fenced-in area that you spend most or all of your time in. It “tells” you what you can and cannot do. Its job is to keep you comfortable, safe and predictable. It holds no surprises, few risks and no challenges.

Most weight-challenged individuals use food to sustain the boundaries of their Comfort Zone. It”s what makes us grab the bag of chips or pint of ice cream without thinking. It often leaves us feeling bored, vaguely depressed and disconnected from the inspired, meaningful, self-expressed and creative existence that could be ours.

Your Alive Zone (AZ), on the other hand, is expansive, unpredictable and creative.  It is that place where you face your fears, question your old limits, reject the stifling control of old habits and programs, take risks that your parents never imagined and explore possibilities that inspire and enthuse you.

If you have read this far, congratulationsyou are probably already out of your Comfort Zone. So let”s make it worth your while.

How to Step into Your Alive Zone

Step 1. Imagine that it is the year 2017. You have lived in your Comfort Zone since 2007. Where are you with your weight? Are you happy, inspired and proud of yourself? Was this the best 10 years of your life so far? If you keep this up, what will the next 10 years be like?

Step 2. Again imagine that it is 2017, but now you have lived in your Alive Zone since 2007. Where are you now, weight-wise? Are you happy, inspired and proud of yourself?  Was this the best 10 years of your life so far?  Do you expect the next 10 will be even better?

Step 3. Make a list of 10 weight-related risks that you currently avoid taking. Maybe it”s making an appointment with a nutritionist or joining a gym or going cold-turkey on the ice cream. Then write down the price you have paid for avoiding them.  Be brutally honest with yourself.

Step 4. Pick one risk from the list of 10 and write down how your life might change for the better if you took it. If you met with a nutrition expert, for example, you might learn how to choose foods more wisely and lose weight as a result.

Step 5. Create an action plan for doing something meaningful about the risk you chose. For example: “First, I will ask my doctor to refer me to a nutritionist. Second, I will call and make an appointment. Third, I will keep the appointment.”

Step 6. Go back to steps 1 and 2 and repeat each of them.

Now there”s only one thing left to do: Go for it!

[Ed. Note: Dr. Matthew Anderson is an author (The Prayer Diet, counselor (35 years) and national columnist/expert on weight loss, motivation, self-management and relationships. Find tough-minded, outside-the-box guidance for taking charge of your life and/or your weight, including Eating to Kill, Wake-Up 101 and Weight Loss as a Spiritual Journey. Click here to learn more .]

Mortar and pestleHealthy Healing:

By Shane Ellison

Did you know that rising blood pressure is a normal process of aging and does not require drug intervention, even when it reaches 140/80?

Medical literature shows that as we age blood pressure rises slightly to accommodate an increased demand of oxygen and nutrients. And this rise does not put us at any risk of early death. It is completely natural for the first number (systolic) to be 100 plus our age.

But this is not what Big Pharma wants you to believe.

Among the top 10 drugs prescribed in the U.S., blood pressure (hypertension) medications ensnare millions into the prescription drug trap. That trap kills 200,000 and injures close to 2.2 million Americans every year.

Beta-blocker drugs and diuretics such as Toprol-XL™, Lopressor™ (metoprolol), Tenormin™ (atenolol) and Coreg™ (carvedilol) serve as fat fertilizer to the human body. As a result, patients who take these drugs are at a 28 percent to 50 percent greater risk of suffering from type II diabetes – the greatest health challenge of the 21st century.

Calcium channel blockers such as Adalat, Procardia™ (nifedipine) and Norvasc™ (amlodipine) are not safe alternatives. By blocking calcium from entering the heart, users are put at greater risk of dying from heart failure.

Cancer is also a possibility. In 1996, the National Institutes of Health warned that, “Postmenopausal women who took calcium channel blockers had twice the risk of developing breast cancer than other women.”

So what can you do about it naturally?

First, forget about the salt myth to lower blood pressure. Eliminating sugar and artificial flavors is among the best things you can do to obtain a relatively normal blood pressure.

Replacing carbohydrates (bread, pasta, excess fruit) with healthy fats such as coconut oil, grass-fed beef, wild salmon, avocados, seeds and nuts will also help.

And finally, interval training one to three times per week is vital for a healthy cardiovascular system.

Using cardiovascular nutrients such as L-arginine, magnesium aspartate and a 95 percent grape seed extract can be a potent natural remedy. Based on Nobel Prize-winning science, these artery-preserving molecules increase the production of nitric oxide, which helps dilate and relax arteries.

Blood pressure medications are made to sell, not heal.  Once you understand this, you can avoid the deadly prescription drug trap.

[Ed. Note: Shane Ellison is known as "The People's Chemist." He holds a Master"s degree in organic chemistry and has first-hand industry experience with drug research, design and synthesis. He is the author of Health Myths Exposed and The Hidden Truth About Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs. Get his FREE Life-Saving Health Briefs by clicking here .]

VegetablesAlternative Eating:

Ray Sahelian, M.D.

There has been a lot of talk and aggressive marketing lately with mangosteen juice and mangosteen supplements. One website claims, “Mangosteen testimonials abound with people using our product to cure themselves of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, depression, ulcers, cancer, psoriasis….” And the list goes on. What”s the science behind the hype?

Mangosteen is a fruit grown in Thailand and Myanmar. The flesh is sweet and creamy, with a touch of peach flavor. The rind (the mangosteen pericarp) and flesh contain substances called xanthones, mainly garcinol and mangostin.

Laboratory studies are slowly revealing interesting properties of mangosteen fruit. Xanthones exhibit antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal and antitumor activity. Laboratory testing thus far indicates that extracts of mangosteen have activity against several cancer cell lines, including breast, liver and leukemia. Xanthones also appear to have antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties.

Mangosteen is sold mostly as dried powder in capsules, usually consisting of 500 mg. Mangosteen is also sold as juice, most often combined with other juices. There are dozens of companies that sell mangosteen juice, and each of them will mix it with a different blend of fruits and have a different concentration of xanthones.

Human trials are not available regarding mangosteen juice or mangosteen supplements, so we still have a lot to learn. Until then, I can’t see any harm in drinking an ounce or two of mangosteen juice a day or taking a mangosteen supplement a few times a week or month.

[Ed. Note: Ray Sahelian, M.D. is a practicing physician and best-selling author. He is a leading authority on natural supplements and nutrition. For the latest research on organic ways to improve your health and well-being, click here to learn more .]

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