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ANTI AGING FOODS & EXERCISE TIPS

The anti aging health planForget plastic surgery, botox and anti-ageing creams. It's not what you put on your skin that's keeps you looking youthful and vibrant. It's what you put into your body, which is why a healthy diet together with a balanced exercise plan is key.

Getting out there, having fun and participating in regular exercise will help you feel young. And if you feel young on the inside, it shows on the outside. You'll also feel a greater sense of self satisfaction because you did it yourself - unlike splashing out on a tummy-tuck.

Below we've assembled a list of a few different types of exercises to consider and anti-aging diet foods that help you beat the aging clock, without breaking the bank - starting now!

Get your blood pumping with cardio training

You only need to step outside your door to be greeted with a seemingly endless variety of ways to get moving. Running, cycling, jogging, swimming, fitness classes or simply taking a walk down at the beach or your local park with a friend or your dog are all great ways to get your heart racing and your blood pumping. 

Cardio trainingNot only will this burn calories and boost your metabolism, it also helps tone your muscles, lower blood pressure and release a flood of feel-good endorphins. Exercising outdoors means you'll also clock up a healthy dose of vitamin D which is important for strong bones and a healthy immune system.

While there are no specific guidelines for cardio, a good general rule of thumb is to aim for around 45 minutes four or fives times a week. To feel good and keep things fresh, change up your intensity (1 day low intensity/active recovery, the next medium/high intensity), where you exercise and the type of activity you do on a regular basis.

Tone & tighten with resistance training 

Weight trainingMany women ditch weight training in favour of the treadmill and other cardio equipment in fear of getting too bulky and obscuring their long, lean feminine shape. In reality, weight training is one of the best ways to keep your bones and muscles in tip-top condition, especially if you combine it with regular cardio. If you're not recovering from an injury or are just starting out, venture away from the machines and into the free weights area.

Using free weights and equipment like Swissballs and medicine balls make exercises more functional and strengthen small stabilizer muscles, which become more important as you get older. Using resistance bands is an excellent alternative to free weights and can be done anywhere, anytime. Aim for 30-45 minutes of resistance training three or four times a week for maximal benefit.

The best anti aging diet foods to eat

What you choose to eat can without doubt speed up the aging process. Fortunately however, by making better informed choices, you can also slow it down. Find out how your diet stacks up and how you can include the top 5 superstar anti-aging foods into your diet plan in the the short video below.

The benefits of yoga

Numerous studies have shown that stress is a killer and if not dealt with effectively is a sure-fire way to speed up the aging process. Yoga is a great way to lower anxiety and stress, and some forms of yoga can assist in toning and lengthening muscles at the same time. There are numerous. Below we take a brief look at each to help you decide which is right for you.

Yoga for strength, flexibility & weight loss

Bikram yoga: Focuses on staying healthy from the inside out and is done at room temperature nearing 40 degrees. This style is designed to make you sweat which encourages your body to flush out toxins as you hold a sequence of poses.

Ashtana yoga: A fast-paced series of poses that aim to encourage controlled breaths as you move. This style will also work up a sweat, but allows you to work at your own pace.

Ki yoga: Focuses on stretching and straining the body to adapt to the changing seasons. It's a moving and dynamic form of yoga and can be much stronger than other types. Movements help to support the body on an emotional and physical level, as well as promote relief from illness and pain.

Yoga for meditation & relaxation

Hatha yoga: Involves holding poses for a longer period of time compared to many other styles and focuses on slow, controlled breathing.

Vini yoga: Focuses on physical, emotional and intellectual growth, aiming to protect and promote a healthy body and mind.

Synergy yoga: This flow-style yoga focuses on linking movement with breathing, while maintaining awareness of your body and mind.

Don't forget to take a break!

Woman relaxing at the beachEveryone, including athletes, needs a day off to relax, recover and restore themselves ready for the next workout. Otherwise you run the risk of looking and feeling run down. If you find yourself exercising a couple of hours a day, seven days a week, taking a short break or perhaps the occasional massage will do you the world of good.

If you find it hard to take a day of from training, then make sure you mix it up including walking, yoga and swimming (or whatever you enjoy) a few times a week.

Don't forget, it takes your muscles 48 hours to recover, so if you're a keen weight trainer try and split your workout into sections so you don't over-train certain muscle groups. Example: Train arms one day, then legs the next. Alternatively, you could do a full body workout a few times a week.

Take time to stretch out & relax  

Stretching is crucial for a younger looking body; not only will staying strong and supple allow you to move around more gracefully, but it will also reduce the chance of injury and joint aches and pains as you get older. Ideally, you should aim to set aside 10-15 minutes to stretch before and after your workouts. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds. Depending on your fitness and flexibility goals, there are 4 main stretching styles to consider:

Static stretches: Walk into any gym and this is often what you'll see. This is the most common form of stretching and involves slowly lengthening the muscles one at a time, holding each stretch between 5 seconds and 1 minute.

Each stretch can be repeated up to five times and you should aim for a slightly deeper stretch each time. For most women these stretches should be held for 30 seconds. The best part is that you can do this on your own (actively) or with someone helping you (passively).

Woman static stretchingDynamic stretches: Another key style used by sports and general fitness enthusiasts. It involves slowly and actively moving a muscle through it's range of motion, each time moving closer to it's end phase.

Take a tennis player as an example. The player could slowly start moving her arm like she's about to hit the ball, each time increasing speed and the range of movement to prepare for the game. This is usually done before a workout to prevent injury.

Ballistic stretches: Usually only performed by sports people, this method is a lot faster with small bouncing movements performed during the end-range of each stretch. If not used without adequate warm up or poor instruction, this can easily lead to injury.

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF): This is a great way to boost flexibility by using other stretching methods to 'trick' your muscle into relaxing, allowing you to stretch further and deeper. Here's how to do it:

  1. A muscle is statically stretched
  2. After 10-30 seconds the muscle being stretched is the contracted in the same position. This can be done by pushing it against a solid, stable object, such as a wall, the floor, a stretching partner or even a towel which you can wrap around the stretched area.
  3. This relaxes the muscle, allowing it to stretch further when statically stretched again. This form of stretching is a particularly good when done with a partner to assist you.

THE FINAL WORD: 

Now you know how to stay young and healthy for longer, there's no better time to start than right now! Remember to keep your workouts varied to continaully challenge your body, stimulate your mind and keep boredom at bay. Grab a friend and have some fun at the same time. After all, laughter is the key to a long and happy life!