There are many types of exercise. All help our health in one way or another. What kinds of exercise help us age more gracefully? Human growth hormone (HGH) is a controller of our aging process.
The higher levels of HGH we have in our bodies, the expectation is that we will live longer. Couple that with other lifestyle changes and it will be a longer and healthier life.
Exercise and Longevity
https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercise-and-aging-can-you-walk-away-from-father-time Exercise is believed to increase HGH the most when compared to other modalities. 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 HGH levels. Endurance training also increases HGH. The amount of increase in HGH from endurance training depends on the intensity, duration, frequency, and type of exercise.
Exercise Types and Aging
https://www.myelomacrowd.org/researchers-find-that-aerobic-exercise-can-reverse-aging-effects-/#:~:text=Researchers%20Find%20that%20Aerobic%20Exercise,and%20reduced%20immune%20function%20increases. This recent article provides excellent insight into how exercise improves our ability to age elegantly. HGH exercises include aerobic (exercise using oxygen) and anaerobic (exercise not using oxygen).
Examples of aerobic exercise are exercising using cardio machines, spinning, running, swimming, walking, hiking, aerobics classes, dancing, and more. Anaerobic exercises include weightlifting, sprinting, jumping, and more. Any exercise that consists of short exertion, high-intensity movement is anaerobic. Aerobic exercise burns both oxygen and fats. Anaerobic exercise burns carbohydrates to produce energy.
Lactic Threshold Training
https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-get-rid-of-lactic-acid The benefit of increasing HGH levels is achieved when we 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 at which lactate begins to appear in our bloodstream. There is an extended time 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 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.
My son was a long-distance runner in high school. We attended many indoor, outdoor, and cross-country events. I have seen several runners get within ten feet of the finish line and cannot move further. They sit down and wait until the lactic acid levels fall. If other runners help them up to finish the race they can be disqualified. Maybe this has changed over the years, but it was the norm way back when.
Maximum Heart Rate Training
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise-intensity/art-20046887 Lactate threshold training has replaced maximum heart rate training. Athletes perform better and longer when they have increased their lactate threshold. Lactate threshold can be approximated based on many tests done by measuring time, intensity, perceived effort, and heart rate.
The Borg Scale and Exercise
https://bit.ly/2K9Y4WV The Borg scale can be used to approximate our lactate threshold. The Borg scale measures the perceived exertion during exercise. If it is a slow walk, you would be at 6 on the Borg scale, the lowest number. If you are sprinting as fast as you can, and you are just at that point in time where you cannot 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. If you want to try this yourself, 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. If 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.
Endurance Training and Aging
Two causes of aging are telomere length and HGH levels. Be careful with endurance training if you want to increase your HGH. Exercising too long, or at too high a rate, can increase your 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 your 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 your HGH levels.
Telomere Length and Aging
https://www.statnews.com/2017/01/03/aging-control-telomere-effect/ Endurance can decrease HGH levels, however, telomere length is enhanced by endurance training. You lose a little on the HGH side and pick it up on the telomere side of the equation. This article concentrates on exercise and HGH levels. Future articles will develop the theme of telomeres and aging.
We want to increase our HGH levels to keep our bodies performing better. Aging will incrementally sap health from you. One day you can do many things. A year or so later, you are not 100% but it is not apparent. A decade later, and 90% is not noticeable from 100%. Then, post-middle-age passes, and for whatever reasons we cannot do the things we used to do easily.
The mirror presents a different image, an older one. It is natural. However, do things that increase HGH levels and more of your youth could return faster than you ever thought possible.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com