Exercise and Longevity
Exercise is believed to increase HGH the second most as compared to other modalities. Fasting is the number one way to increase HGH. There are several ways that exercise causes an increase in HGH levels. Different types of exercise influence the increase of HGH. Resistance training is probably the most powerful. The weight load and frequency determine the amount of increase in HGH. Lifting heavier loads at a greater frequency with less resting time causes the greatest increase in HGH.
Extremely high levels of exercise are required to raise human growth hormone (HGH) levels. Endurance training also increases HGH. The amount of increase in HGH from endurance training depends on the:
● Type of exercise
HGH exercise is aerobic (exercise using oxygen) to anaerobic (exercise not using oxygen). Examples of aerobic exercise are:
● Exercising using cardio machines
● Aerobics classes
Anaerobic exercises include:
● Any exercise that consists of short exertion, high-intensity movement
Aerobic exercise burns both oxygen and fats. Anaerobic exercise burns carbohydrates to produce energy.
The benefit increasing HGH levels is achieved when we can train at least ten minutes beyond our lactate threshold. Lactic acid produces a salt called lactate. It is a by-product of intense exercise. The lactate threshold is the point in which lactate begins to appear in the bloodstream. There is an extended period that an athlete can perform at the same rate and not slow down.
The lactate level in the blood remains constant. Any increase in energy spent on the exercise will increase the blood lactate levels. The athlete will be forced to slow down or stop. The incremental increase in blood lactate that results in stopping or slowing of exercise is the lactic acid threshold. Lactate threshold training has replaced maximum heart rate training. Athletes can perform better and longer when they have increased their lactate threshold.
Lactate threshold can be approximated based on many tests done by measuring:
• Perceived effort
• Heart rate
The Borg scale can be used to approximate the lactate threshold. The Borg scale measures the perceived exertion during exercise. When it is a very slow walk, you would be on the Borg scale at the lowest number – 6. When you are sprinting as fast as you can, and you are just at that point in time where you can’t sprint another ten seconds, then you are at 20 – the highest level on the Borg scale.
Testing has shown that a perceived exertion effort of 13 on the Borg scale closely correlates with the actual blood lactate levels. This was true regardless of age, gender, type of exercise, and fitness level.
Here is a simple way to begin. First talk with your physician before beginning any change to your lifestyle, especially exercise. Next, invest in a heart monitor. Wear it and begin doing your favorite exercise. Start slowly at low intensity to warm up. Assess yourself at the low end of your personal perceived exertion scale – a simple 1 to 10 would be fine. Increase your pace for the next two minutes. Assess your perceived exertion rate again. Increase your pace at two-minute intervals until you cannot maintain the higher level of energy needed to maintain that intensity. When you must stop or slow down, then you have passed your lactate threshold.
Slow down and relax for a short period of time. Allow the lactic acid levels in your blood to diminish. Return to your exercise program and return to the heart rate just before you had to slow down or stop from your previous training. This heart rate is equivalent to a level of 5 on a scale of 1 to 10. It is the heart rate at which you can exercise for long periods of time without having to slow down or stop. This is your personal lactate threshold heart rate.
Exercising at least ten minutes at this heart rate should achieve the desired result of attaining your lactate threshold. Over time, your performance and endurance will improve. Reassess your personal lactate threshold periodically as your performance levels improve.
Be careful with endurance training when you want to increase HGH. Exercising too long, or at too high a rate, can increase the risk of decreasing HGH production and increasing cortisol. Cortisol is another hormone that the body produces. In training, excessive amounts of cortisol break down the body’s tissues. Train hard and train smart to maximize HGH production.
It is a balancing act – find that zone that fits your personal exercise regimen. Do it at least twice a week to raise HGH levels.
Quality Sleep and Longevity
HGH is released periodically throughout the day. However, 70-80 percent of HGH is released during sleep (good quality sleep). It doesn’t matter whether we sleep at night or during the day. The majority of HGH is released in the first period of Stage three sleep. HGH is used by our bodies for repair and restoration.
Sleep passes through several stages and repeats continually until we wake up and start our next day. A complete sleep cycle lasts generally about 100 minutes. As the night progresses, the earlier stages become shorter and the later stages become longer. Stage one is light sleep. A person drifts in and out of sleep and can be easily awakened. Stage two is where eye movement stops, and brain waves become slower. Stage three is referred to as deep sleep. There is no eye movement or muscle activity.
When we remain awake during our normal sleep time, we will not benefit from HGH release. The body catches up a bit when a person finally gets to catch up after extended periods of non-sleep. HGH will be released in slightly higher quantities to help make up for the deficit brought on by the extended non-sleep cycle.
Good quality sleep is required to produce HGH. Caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate, etc.) can impact the quality of sleep when taken within four hours prior to going to sleep. Eating a large meal within three hours of going to sleep is also disruptive. When insulin levels are low, more HGH is produced. Conversely, when insulin levels are high (after eating), less HGH is produced.
It is important to note that blood sugar and insulin are not the same things. We can burn fat and build muscle by regulating blood sugar levels (controlling carbohydrates). Any food eaten causes an increase in insulin, including protein and fat. Eating before bedtime increases insulin levels.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin