Did you know that after 35 certain Exercise can lead to Accelerated Ageing and Cause Middle Age Weight Gain... According to some of the latest studies.
"Oh no!" I hear you say, I was just about to start a fitness routine now I've turned 40 and find I have some spare time in my life. "Ahh what's the point if this is true?", Well it is true and I'll explain why in a minute but don't despair because you can still make radical changes to your health and physique in terms of body composition and strength well before your 40’s and beyond.
But first let me tell you what happens as you get over 40 and if you're like me, 50.
Studies show that exercise once considered to be an effective way to trim those love handles, can now actually cause middle age belly fat, loss of toned muscle and to cap it all, inflammation that can cause you to age faster. (Sounds great already!)
'How does this happen?'
Well, after the age of 35 your body changes (from a hormonal point of view) and unfortunately you start to gain weight easier, especially around the midsection. I remember those days when I could train, eat anything and not gain an ounce of weight. In fact putting muscle on was a bit of a problem.
At the same time as this is happening you start to lose muscle which can lead to you being weaker and a bit flabbier. It's a 1-1=less than 0…, Grrrr...
To add insult to injury people tend to then try and exercise for longer and more frequently, only to be surprised when that only makes the matter worse.
It's all because of those pesky hormones, one in particular that's claimed as the fountain of youth, (basically because it is) that hormone is called the Hgh (or human growth hormone) and it declines rapidly as you age particularly after about 40. Boooo !
On top of that, most people don't have as much time as they once did to exercise, with the stress of everyday life, juggling jobs and family - it all adds up to even more pounds to that already compromised body of yours.
Unfortunately you can't stop the ageing process, there is no elixir of youth... but you can slow that process down and even reverse the effects of the old middle age spread.
The key is hormones... I'm not talking about hormone supplements or pills, this method is safer and more effective.
Interested ?....then read on.
To reactivite these critical hormones you need to follow three key principles, some of these may go against what you've been told previously in regard to training and diet advice.
Here's are the things you need to avoid:
1. Long Hours of Cardiovascular Exercise
I get asked this all the time when clients want to lose some extra fat before an event like a holiday. Should I start doing more cardio to lose the weight ? It's the first thing people turn to as they think it's the holy grail of fat loss.
Sorry to disappoint, but it isn't. Studies have shown that excess cardio cause a rise in the stress hormone cortisol which causes you to gain fat especially around the midsection.
Studies also show that long cardio sessions cause a sharp increase in free radicals. These are the molecules that damage cells in the body and cause chronic inflammation which accelerate ageing.
So if your idea of losing inches is to pound away on your favourite bit of cv equipment…stop now as there is a better way. I'll tell you about it soon.
2. Getting Sufficient Sleep!
Yes, lack of sleep causes stubborn bodyfat. As we get older getting enough sleep becomes an issue especially with the pace of life and even though you may think you're resilient, the one thing you can't cope very long without is good quality sleep.
Sleep deprivation causes a sharp increase in that stress hormone cortisol and once again this little beauty loves to store body fat around your middle. No amount of exercise will alleviate this problem if cortisol is the problem. You need to get quality sleep….end of.
To get better sleep make sure you have a completely darkened room, so have blackout blinds on your windows which will help maximise melatonin which is an important hormone associated with sleep.
The next thing to do is make sure you go to sleep at about the same time every night so your body gets into a sleep pattern. Again melatonin peaks around 11.00pm, so it helps you get to sleep faster and into that all important REM Sleep.
3. Doing Lots of Situps and Crunches... ? Stop.
If I've heard this one once I've heard it a thousand times and it goes some thing like this. I want to lose some weight from around my middle so I'm going to start doing a hundred sit ups a day and just exercise it off.
Good grief. Unfortunately this method does nothing to help get rid of that abdominal flab.
Now doing some movements like this as part of an overall plan is a good idea but in moderation. That fat build up around your stomach has a lot more to do with hormonal changes as we get older than anything else, so you have to stimulate the correct biochemical changes in your body to counteract it.
How do you do this ?
Well, you really need to combine some resistance work with a cardio aspect, then if you can throw in some interval work as well that's even better. Intervals are when you work for a set period and then take a rest and then work again.
This type of work can significantly improve those good hormones I mentioned earlier. One of the best ways to target all these requirements is with the Kettlercise H.Core program.
This revolutionary system combines double kettlebell drills with some bodyweight exercises utilising continuous time under tension and intervals to rapidly decrease bodyfat and dramatically improve muscle tone.