- Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.
- Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
- Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
- Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.
Getting old has always been perceived as inevitable process of life, but increasingly studies has shown otherwise. As scientist push forward frontiers of the molecular and genetic research, aging is now seen as disease that starts to ravage our bodies in the late 20s and eventually leading to our death, in Australia around late 70s.
Putting it simply, as we age our cells becomes less and less efficient in repairing oxidative damage resulting from free radicals.
In each of our cells is our genetic makeup, DNA that are organised into chromosomes. Every time a new cell divides, the chromosomes inside it have to duplicate for the new cell to function correctly. At the end of each chromosome is a telomere, responsible for protecting chromosome from damage or duplicating DNA incorrectly. However each time cell divides, the telomeres get a little bit shorter, a bit more damaged, until it becomes too short to do its job the chromosomes start to fray and the cell can no longer duplicate and either dies or develop disease like cancer. As more and more cells die off or fail to replicate correctly we age, develop various diseases and eventually die.
However, telomeres don’t shorten at the same rate, thus cells don’t die off at the same rate, and the latest scientific research seems to point that level of physical activity is one major factor that can slow down the rate at which telomeres shorten.
Recent study published in The Lancet Oncology journal, involved a group of 10 men who participated in a five year trial, during that time, participants made changes to their lifestyle that included daily exercise regime of 30 minutes, healthy diet and stress management. Participants who made those lifestyle changes showed increase in their telomeres length by 10%, on the other hand men who stuck to a more sedentary lifestyle had their telomeres shrink by 3% over the same period of time.
Another study published in 2008, refers to 2,401 participants tested by professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College, London. Subjects who engaged in 100 minutes of exercise a week tended to have telomeres lengths of people five to six years younger.
While studies may indicate that exercise can lead to lengthening of telomeres, we still ask does exercise slow aging?
Professor Fadi Charchar from the School of Health Sciences, at the Federation University Australia seems to think that there is a close link. Prof. Charchar’s research shows that the 11 percent improvement in telomeres length detected in the runners in his study can on average add approximately 16 years to life expectancy. “This is called biological age and its workout out based on average telomeres length in thousands of people. So we can work out how many DNA base parts are lost as you age and work out an average estimate based on this”.
Further research is needed to better understand the correlation between level of physical activity and aging process but I think we can safely say that sedentary lifestyle that most of Australian population lead in the 21st century cannot be anything but detrimental to the long term health. As long as people engage in the safe exercise choices, within their capabilities, use professional advice and maintain healthy diet, health benefits will surely be evident, and it’s never too late to start.
Just ask yourself a question, have you ever met anyone who is smoking, eating junk food and leading sedentary lifestyle looking 10 years younger than his peers.
Sydney has numerous personal trainers, with various levels of experience and skill. Many will offer variety of fitness equipment and workout plans. Choosing the appropriate trainer is crucial in order to achieve your fitness goals.
First step to choosing the right personal trainer is to make sure that they are registered with Fitness Australia, which will also mean that your trainer holds appropriate qualifications and insurance.
Fitness Australia has made selecting right personal trainer easier by introducing rating system. Every Fitness Australia registered trainer is rated by level from 1-3 depending on years of experience and qualifications. Also each trainer has various specialisation that can be found on their registration profile or carry card. Making sure that your trainer is of a appropriate level and specialisation is important in order to achieve best possible training outcome. There are numerous specialisation including: personal trainer, older adults trainers, kids trainer and etc
People always use their age as an excuse why they can’t physically push themselves, why they fail to achieve same results as someone younger. Reality is as you get older it is harder to physically push yourself to that next level. However, we should all take a page out of Jack LaLanes book, father of modern concept of fitness. Aged 45 Jack decided to promote his TV show by completing 1,000 Jumping Jacks and 1,000 Chin Ups in just 1 hour and 22 minutes.
Well known for his feats of strengths, at the ripe age of 54 Jack LaLane competed against young unknown bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger. Badly beaten by Jack LaLane, Arnold exclaimed “That Jack LaLane is an animal”.
To quote Jack LaLane “Living is a pain in the butt. Dying is easy. It’s like an athletic event. You’ve got to train for it. You’ve got to eat right. You’ve got to exercise. Your health account, your bank account, they’re the same thing. The more you put in, the more you can take out. Exercise is king and nutrition is queen: together, you have a kingdom”.
Age is only a factor if you make it so!
10 Running Tips for beginner, or experts
- Try to run on the grass to reduce impact on your joints
- When running aim to be light on your feet and do not come down heel first
- When trying on your new training shoes, try them in the afternoon when your feet are bigger
- Running up stairs and hills is great for improving speed and endurance
- To build speed and endurance for the marathon, aim to go slow for the first third of your run, middle pace for the second third, and faster than normal pace until the end
- Stretch your calves before going for a run
- Keep straight back while running
- Swing your arms for increased momentum and balance
- Listen to your body, don’t ignore any pain
- Set some achievable daily, weekly and monthly goals
Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 85-90% of all people with diabetes. While it usually affects older adults, more and more younger people, even children, are getting type 2 diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes some insulin but it is not produced in the amount your body needs and it does not work effectively.Type 2 diabetes results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although there is a strong genetic predisposition, the risk is greatly increased when associated with lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure, overweight or obesity, insufficient physical activity, poor diet and the classic ‘apple shape’ body where extra weight is carried around the waist.
Type 2 diabetes can often initially be managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity. However, over time most people with type 2 diabetes will also need tablets and many will also need insulin. It is important to note that this is just the natural progression of the disease, and taking tablets or insulin as soon as they are required can result in fewer complications in the long-term.
There is currently no cure for type 2 diabetes.
While there is no single cause of type 2 diabetes, there are well-established risk factors. Some of these can be changed and some cannot.
You are at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes if you:
- have a family history of diabetes
- are older (over 55 years of age ) – the risk increases as we age
- are over 45 years of age and are overweight
- are over 45 years of age and have high blood pressure
- are over 35 years of age and are from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background
- are over 35 years of age and are from Pacific Island, Indian subcontient or Chinese cultural background
- are a woman who has given birth to a child over 4.5 kgs (9 lbs), or had gestational diabetes when pregnant, or had a condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, many people have no symptoms at all, while other signs are dismissed as a part of ‘getting older’. By the time type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, the complications of diabetes may already be present. Symptoms include:
- Being excessively thirsty
- Passing more urine
- Feeling tired and lethargic
- Always feeling hungry
- Having cuts that heal slowly
- Itching, skin infections
- Blurred vision
- Gradually putting on weight
- Mood swings
- Feeling dizzy
- Leg cramps.
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
It is estimated that up to 60% of type 2 diabetes can be prevented. People at risk of type 2 diabetes can delay and even prevent this disease by following a healthy lifestyle. This includes:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Regular physical activity
- Making healthy food choices
- Managing blood pressure
- Managing cholesterol levels
- Not smoking
The recent Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab) estimated that close to one million (7.5%) Australian adults have diabetes mellitus (Dunstan et al 2001). Type 2 diabetes is the most common form comprising 85 to 90% of those with diabetes mellitus. The most recent cost estimates available suggest approximately $216.7 million in health system costs were attributable to Type 2 diabetes, seventh leading cause of Australian deaths.
The burden of Type 2 diabetes is increasing and it is expected to become the leading cause of disease burden by 2023. From Australias health report 2010
- Three in 5 adults (61%) were either overweight or obese in 2007–08.
- One in 4 children (25%) aged 5–17 years were overweight or obese in 2007–08.
Majority of people tend to forget to consume enough fluids during the workout in order to stay hydrated and assist bodies’ natural cooling process. An extensive research indicates that a well hydrated person functions physiologically better, while inadequate consumption of fluids not only effects exercise capacity, but also can be life threatening. It’s important to avoid dehydration during exercise.
However, how much do we need to drink and what should we be drinking during the exercise?
One should aim to begin exercise with a comfortably fluid filled stomach, which needs to be toped up with 150 to 250 ml every 10-20 minutes depending on the environment. Aim to replace at least 80% of sweat losses during the exercise.
The fluids that are great for rehydration should contain between 4-8% carbohydrate concentrations, contain some electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. Moreover it is important that the fluids that are used for rehydration contain the correct osmolality.
Osmolality describes the number of osmoles of particles or solutes in a kilogram of solvent. It is the total concentration of dissolved materials in a solution regardless of their specific identities. For example in the sport drink the solvent is usually water.
For rehydration purposes a hypotonic solution works the best as it has an osmolality that is lower than body fluids. This results in the water component flowing from the gut lumen into the blood, carrying with it some electrolytes.
Even though majority of individuals drink water during the exercise, water does not have all the necessary nutrition components to assist bodies’ rehydration. A well designed sport drink is much better suited since it contains a readily available source of carbohydrates, sodium to help body retain the fluids, as well as mineral balance to alleviate problems associated with cramping and helps to decrease recovery time.
Most fruit juices can work just as well as sport drinks, and they tend to be more natural source of fluid during the workout.
In conclusion one should remember that the above guide is only applicable to the fluid intake during a short intense workout. Water should not be substituted during the normal day by sport drinks or by just fruit juices as a healthy diet should contain at least 3 liters of water on the daily basis.