By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
November 7, 2018
Bette Davis once said, “Old age is no place for sissies.” And I’ll tell you. I’ve met more than my share of patients who seem to share this sentiment. These are the ones who seem to think aging is a slow and tortured downward spiral.
They expect to grow old, sick and feeble as the years go by. And while it’s unfortunate, it’s a trait I see in a lot of people. And some of that is reinforced by physicians who respond to their patient’s complaints with “ you should expect that at your age”.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You actually have a great deal more control over the aging process then you might imagine.
You see, for decades I’ve not only dedicated myself to healing others. I’ve also made it a lifelong goal to help my patients live longer lives – ones that are more energetic and active than they ever imagined – without illness or disease.
And I’ve discovered one of the easiest ways to do that… a way to shave years off your biological age so you can feel younger and healthier than you have in years.
All you have to do is follow my number one prescription. It’s the one I give to every single patient who walks into my office.
Get 15 minutes of high-intensity-interval training (HIIT) six days a week.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to give you the same exercise spiel that you’ve already heard a few hundred times. You know… the one that tells you how exercise protects your heart, boosts lung function and builds sleek, lean muscle. That it’s good for your brain and great at relieving depression and anxiety.
No. Today I’m going to share what you probably don’t know about HIIT exercises. Are you ready for it?
HIIT is the only type of exercise that can literally make you YOUNGER!
It works by slowing down biological aging and powering up your mitochondria.
Slash 9 Years off Your Biological Age in 15 Minutes a Day
I’m sure you’ve noticed that some people your age look a lot older than you do while others seem to be eternally young. And that some of them have a slew of medical complaints while others never seem to get sick at all.
Well, your body actually has a system of built-in cellular time clocks – ones that either speed up or slow down your biological age. They’re called telomeres.
Telomeres are the protective DNA caps on the end of your chromosomes that shorten each time your cells divide. The shorter they get, the more quickly you age.
Ultimately, the shorter your telomeres, the shorter your life will be. Shortened telomeres are also linked to many age-related conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Longer telomeres, on the other hand, are associated with a longer, healthier and more robust lifetime with fewer signs of aging.
People who participate in HIIT exercises like the ones I recommend have significantly longer telomeres than those who don’t. To put this in terms of how it affects your age, those with the highest activity levels have a biological age that’s about nine years younger than people who are inactive!
I don’t know about you, but if I can move my body for about a quarter of an hour a day and gain nearly a decade of healthy and youthful life, it sure sounds worth it to me.
Power up Your Energy Factories
In addition to protecting your telomeres, you should also be aware that your body has “energy factories”. These are found in your mitochondria, and they may be aging faster than they should
You see, your mitochondria contain DNA that is responsible for powering every cell in your body with energy.
As a matter of fact, about 90% of the energy needed by your body comes from your mitochondria. They’re like tiny little power plants that fuel every cell in your body with energy.
But as you age, they become damaged. They mutate and begin to malfunction. Eventually, they can no longer produce the energy necessary to do their job.
When this happens you start feeling older than you should. Health issues like heart disease, decreased strength, stroke and memory problems take up residence. Next thing you know, youth becomes a distant memory.
But just imagine if you could increase your mitochondrial capacity?
Well, you can.
In young folks, 12 weeks of HIIT can improve mitochondrial function by nearly 50%. But these results are even more dramatic in older people, resulting in an almost 70% increase in mitochondrial capacity. (No other form of exercise can provide these amazing results!)
HIIT isn’t hard. And it doesn’t take long. Just be sure to check with your doctor before starting any type of exercise program, especially if you’ve been sedentary.
When you have the go-ahead, start by doing a 30-second brisk walk. Walk as fast as you can. Then, slow down and spend three or four minutes walking regularly. Repeat four to six times. When it gets easy to do this, change the brisk walk portion to a jog. Over time – and if your body allows – build up to a sprint.
It’s still beneficial if you can’t sprint. Since I’ve been walking my street in that half hour just before sunset, I see and interact with more and more of my neighbors walking with their spouses, friends, or dogs.
As it becomes easier, try increasing the intensity and shortening your rest time. (i.e., a 30 second full-out burst, followed by lesser and lesser minutes of easy walking.)
This same tactic also works great while bicycling, rowing or swimming.
Tucker LA. Physical activity and telomere length in U.S. men and women: An NHANES investigation. Prev Med. 2017 Jul;100:145-151.
Robinson MM, et al. Enhanced Protein Translation Underlies Improved Metabolic and Physical Adaptations to Different Exercise Training Modes in Young and Old Humans. Cell Metab. 2017 Mar 7;25(3):581-592.