Optimal Amount of Exercise to Slow Aging

by Peggy
(Sacamento, CA)

As a 54-year-old woman in good health, I am trying hard to stay that way. I want to stay mobile and active well into my later years. My weight is normal, I eat as conscientiously as possible, and I consider my health excellent.

The one thing, however, that I'm just not sure of is how much exercise do I really need? Every morning I do a very brisk 20-25 minute walk with my Jack Russell mix (I try to match his pace!) which I enjoy very much. I also do modified pushups (1 set of 20 followed quickly by a set of 10) plus 20-second planks every other day.

I used to also do daily aerobic and every other day weights using a video "step" program but always ended up with some kind of injury or pain that made me have to stop altogether for a few days.

I'm not an athlete, although I do alpine ski in the winter and I am at a desk all day long at my work.

Can you give me any advice on how best to maintain my current fitness and weight and add to my long-term health?

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Aug 03, 2009
Optimal Antiaging Exercise
by: George Parigian Jr.

Hi Peggy,

Thank you for your question about antiaging exercise. It is a very good one!

First, you are doing a great job so far. You have all the pieces in place:

Healthy recreational activity

Many experts believe that exercise can only slow what is called “secondary aging” which involves deterioration in muscle mass, bone density, metabolism, ect. Slowing secondary aging will keep you healthy and active far into your later years.

The only exercise program I know of that is reputed to slow primary aging, is called the The Five Tibetan Rites

This program which has been adapted to fit modern times, addresses aging from the standpoint of life energy in the body, called Chi by the Chinese, or Prana in the Indian Ayurvedic Tradition.

For your antiaging exercise program, you have good instincts in that you adjust your exercise to what your body can handle, to avoid injury but still offset the fact that you have a desk job. I would recommend that you incorporate the Five Tibetans into your lifestyle.

You are already doing strength training in the form of bodyweight exercise, which is great. Try adding some bodyweight exercise for your legs in the form of squats or lunges.

Look into an exercise called “Hindu Squats,” which were used by Indian wrestlers for centuries to build their strength and endurance. Again, you will have to determine how much and how often to use these exercises. You can do these every 2-3 days.

At the end of performing this exercise you should feel pleasantly fatigued, but still strong and invigorated.

As for your other exercises, when it comes time for your next exercise session, you should feel good, strong, and ready to give it your all. If you have residual soreness or fatigue from your last exercise session, then you are not getting enough time between workouts.

For cardiovascular exercise, I would recommend interval training, where you do bursts of activity followed by a brief rest period. The brisk walking that you do with your JR Terrier seems sounds good. You could incorporate the concept of intervals into those walks with your dog.

Locate an antiaging doctor and have your hormone profiles checked via blood tests.

Check out my page on testing for an antiaging program.

Finally, there is a great book by nutrition and exercise expert Jonny Bowden called:

"Jonny Bowden's Shape Up"

If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me via the contact form on contact page.

Best Regards,


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