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How Much Exercise is Enough?

706636_me_at_29_and_at_89_years_old.jpgI’m sure it’s not news to you that working out and eating right can make you younger.

But it’s all a question of degrees. A plateful of broccoli and a gentle stroll in the park once a week are not going to keep any drooping and disintegrating at bay (though they won’t do any harm).

And yet it’s no good overdoing it and making your life one long chore of worthy eating and exercise either. (They do say enjoying yourself and feeling happy keeps you young too).

So how much is enough to push back the years?

Authors Henry Lodge and Chris Crowley of the books “Younger Next Year” and “Younger Next Year for Women” believe it’s quite a lot.

Lodge says “If someone who is sedentary really commits to exercising six days a week, he would be something like 10 or 15 years younger in the functional respect within a year.”

And according to Crowley that commitment consists of relentless, steady exercise including strength training and aerobics six days a week, 45 minutes a day.

In many respects, it’s really not much to combat all the signs of aging we don’t want to see, although of course, you may need to work up to that level if you’re not there already.

How does exercise help combat aging?

According to Lodge, the cells in our body turn over all the time and each time they regenerate they can become a little stronger or a little weaker. Exercise is key to that switch. Along with avoiding the worst dietary excesses. The big culprits in the march towards old age are sugars, simple starches (such as those found in white bread and pasta) and saturated fats.

Of course, the authors have one view about the level of exercise required but not everyone agrees. Some research carried out in the 70s which is the basis for my Fitness in No Time program shows that as little as 10 minutes three times a week can be enough the keep us healthy well into old age.

If you have 45 minutes 6 times a week then I believe it’s a good idea to do that amount of exercise – why not? It will make you feel and look great. You know it will!

But if weeks go by and you’re just not getting out for a run or managing to hit the gym then 10 minutes three times a week of the right exercises sure beats getting old.

***Many Thanks to Gonzalo Haro for that striking image of him aging from 29 to 89!***

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