Health & Nutrition Health and Nutrition - February - Page 81

M ost of what people call ageing, and most of what we all dread about getting older, is actually decay. We are struck with real ageing, but decay is optional. What do we mean? In the absence of signals to grow, your body, including your brain, decays, and you ‘age’. The keys to over-riding the decay signals? Daily exercise, good nutrition, emotional commitment and a real engagement with living. But it starts with exercise. You have to exercise because it’s who you are, where you came from, hundreds of thousands of years ago. Humankind grew up, hunting and gathering, which required hours of walking, with intervals of running and sprinting in between. Exercise, then, is the single most powerful signal you can send your body that it’s spring, and time to live and grow. It isn’t complicated, but you have to do it every day. Aerobic, balance and strength training help you age healthy... INING AEROBIC T bu R lle A t in this life, it’s aerobic r ys If there’s a silve es a day, four da le: Do 45 minut ru e exercise. Th r. How come? a week, foreve ur blood se changes yo Aerobic exerci mmatory. This akes it anti-infla chemistry – m your risk of ic that reduces is the bit of mag s by 50%, and d some cancer in medicine heart disease an 40%. Nothing by e as se di ’s Alzheimer . t can touch that . Hike. It doesn’ Bike. Jog. Swim ? do What to it. u do – just do matter what yo BALANCE TRAINING Balance, co-ordination and proprioception (your sense of where you are in space) are all run by your brain’s signalling system. The brain has 100 billion neurons, or signal senders, each with connections to 10,000 other neurons. And one of your brain’s big jobs is dictating – in exquisite detail – how you move. But there’s a problem: Everything you don’t use rots! Especially the signalling system that governs the body’s fine motor movements. Which means, of course, that your balance and coordination go to hell and you don’t know where you are. Sounds like the very definition of old age, doesn’t it. Aerobic exercise is the bit of magic that reduces your risk of heart disease and some cancers by 50%, and Alzheimer’s disease by 40%. Nothing in medicine can touch that.