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12 Ways to Grow Younger in 2012

By The Editors at RealAge

Wouldn’t it be nice to feel younger as you get older? You can, and it isn’t the stuff of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” From taking vitamin D to watching your blood pressure and managing stress, these 12 anti-aging strategies will help you live younger in 2012.

1. Take vitamin D.  Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., and Michael F. Roizen, M.D., call vitamin D “the ultimate anti-ager.” That’s because it nourishes your memory, skin, heart, bones, and arteries, and it helps fight off cancer. Getting enough vitamin D daily can make your body think it’s 9.4 years younger.

2. Care for your teeth and gums. A healthy smile looks lovely — and helps keep your arteries and immune system in top shape. Flossing and brushing daily can prevent periodontal disease and tooth loss, which can make you feel 6.1 years younger.

3. Watch your numbers. Keeping your waist size, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol in the healthy zone dramatically reduces your risk of many problems, including cardiovascular disease. The combined effect can make your body think it’s as much as 19.8 years younger.

4. Keep stress in check. Stress comes in many shapes, sizes, and strengths. Some stress is good, but the bad kind ages you inside and out. Reducing bad stress with meditation or other meditation techniques can help you feel 1.7 years younger.

5. Stay in touch. Reach out to family and friends through e-mails, phone calls, and, whenever you can, face-to-face visits. Staying connected can make you feel 8.5 years younger.

6. Pump some iron. Working out with weights does your muscles and bones good. Strength-training for just 10 minutes three times per week can make your body think it’s 2.6 years younger.

7. Be happy. Go ahead, watch that romantic comedy and spend time with a pals who make you chuckle. Laughing often can make your body feel up to 8 years younger.

8. Be fruity and nutty. Fruits and nuts are a tasty, satisfying way to keep your heart, mind, and waistline healthy. Eating 4 to 5 servings of fruit and a handful of nuts daily can help you feel 6.4 years younger.

9. Go for whole grains. Unprocessed grains are rich in fiber and nutrients, which help fend off disease and keep your weight down. Eat at least 5 servings of whole grains a day to feel up to 2.6 years younger.

10. Think happy thoughts. Positive moods and a good attitude help your body’s vital systems stay in balance – and make you feel 5.2 years younger.

11. Exercise consistently. You don’t have to be a marathoner, but regular exercise can make your body think it’s up to 9 years younger. Aim for 30 minutes of activity every day.

12. Sleep on it. Adequate sleep helps keep your energy up and weight down. Getting at least 6 hours of sleep a night — but not more than 9 hours — can make you feel 3.4 years younger.

www.healingpowerhour.com

10-year-old Fitness Guru Known as The “Workout Kid” Turns Heads

Yesterday I did an article about an elder taking the fitness world by storm. Now it’s time to show you the youngest. Meet C J Senter

C.J. Senter may or may not be the next Tony Horton or the next Barry Sanders, but he is definitely the next 10-year-old to watch.

Granted, when most people hear “child prodigy,” they rightfully raise an eyebrow and wonder who is pulling the strings. Add a workout DVD by a fourth-grader with sculpted muscles to the mix and “cute” can turn to “concerning.” But it turns out the story behind “C.J. The Workout Kid” is a lot more inspiring than insidious.

C.J. started working out five years ago when his football coach told him and his teammates to go home over a weekend and get some exercise. He did some push-ups and sit-ups and loved it. Not too long after, he saw a P90X infomercial and loved that too. He’s been working out ever since. C.J. does his own routines three times a week, after school and homework, and he’s given new names to some old and boring moves, like the burpee, which involves a squat, push-up, and jump. C.J. calls that one the “shredder.” He even teaches a class of (mostly older) kids at the gym near where he lives in Locust Grove, Ga.

“It feels great,” C.J. says by phone from his Georgia home. “I love staying fit and healthy.”

But wait a minute. Research shows kids shouldn’t be touching weights until at least age 15.

“I don’t use weights,” C.J. says.

Not even bench press?

“I don’t bench press,” he says. “It’s not good for kids.”

Surely he’s on some insane diet, right? His dad feeds him wheat grass and cow brain, perhaps?

“I’m not on a diet,” C.J. says. “I eat everything.”

Disbelieving? So is Carlos Senter — C.J.’s dad. Carlos has spent most of his son’s life in shock, ever since C.J. somehow climbed out of his crib — at seven months old.

“It was two, three o’clock in the morning,” Carlos says, “and boom! My wife would go look in his room and here he comes, crawling out. He would go into the refrigerator, too.”

Carlos can’t quite figure out how his son got to be so fit. He says his relatives put on muscle easily, but not this easily. C.J. has an older brother and a younger sister who don’t really love sports as much. And Dad isn’t exactly chiseled like Terrell Owens. In fact, he admits C.J.’s work ethic has shamed him and his wife into getting into better shape.

“He doesn’t really eat candy,” Carlos says. “I have no idea why.”

And for that matter, Carlos has no idea why his son doesn’t have an attitude. “This kid will score a touchdown, take the football to the ref and act like nothing ever happened,” Carlos says. “If it was me, well, I probably would be a little different.”

But as much as the “Workout Kid” routine is working — C.J.’s DVDs are in so much demand that his dad hired a PR rep — Carlos says he gives most of the DVDs away for free and the primary objective is to help kids get off the couch.

C.J.’s primary objective has always been the same thing: make it to the NFL. He’s a running back and safety, modeling his game after another C.J. — Titans speed demon Chris Johnson.

C.J.’s already been named MVP for the state of Georgia as an 8-and-under, and last year he played in the 10-and-under group as a 9-year-old. Carlos says that the team run by former NFL running back Jamal Lewis expressed interest in having C.J. commute to Atlanta to join up, but the drive was simply too far.

High school coaches are already aware of C.J., but Carlos, who runs a local barber shop, insists on not looking too far ahead.

“As long as he’s happy,” Carlos says, “I’m happy.”

C.J. does seem happy, even though he’s a little bit tired of when kids come up to him at school and ask, “Are those your real muscles?”

The next generation of Atlanta prep football players is about to find out.

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www.HealingPowerHour.com 

Meet The World’s Oldest Female Bodybuilder……. Ernestine Shepherd

She may be a grandmother, but don’t call her old.

Ernestine Shepherd has impeccably toned ‘six-pack’ abs that are the marvel of her Baltimore fitness centre.

Her husband of 54 years, Collin Shepherd, says he ‘has trouble keeping guys away from her’.

The Shepherds live in Baltimore with their son, 53, and grandson, 14.

Ms Shepherd does some modelling and teaches fitness classes, and told the Washington Post, ‘If you are going to try to motivate people, you have to live that part’.

She also trains rigorously with Yohnnie Shambourger, 57, a former Mr Universe who won the gold medal in bodybuilding at the Pan American Games in 1995.

Seventy-four-year-old Ms Shepherd is the world’s oldest competitive bodybuilder and according to her, “Age ain’t nothing but a number.” You got that right, sister.

She doesn’t live in the fountain of youth, she lives in Baltimore. She didn’t get this body by taking an extreme knitting class either. She teaches a body sculpting class. And, no, she isn’t eating or drinking any concoction from late night infomercials that promise to shed weight and do your taxes at the same time. She maintains a strict diet of bland chicken, green beans, plain brown rice and egg whites.

Crazy thing is, Shepherd didn’t even start competing until she turned 57, inspired by a less than flattering experience involving a swimsuit and a dressing room. At that point, she and her older sister, Mildred, made a “pinkie swear” to take better care of their bodies. While her sister has since passed, Shepherd has gone on to complete nine marathons, win two bodybuilding contests and see herself listed in the 2010 and 2011 Guinness World Records as the oldest competitive female bodybuilder in the world.

Ernestine Shepherd turned 75 on June 16, 2011 and she is still going strong. 

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www.healingpowerhour.com

What is the best time to exercise?

The Best Time to ExerciseBy Leanna Skarnulis

Some people swear by a 6 a.m. jog to get their hearts racing and get them psyched up for the day. Others wouldn’t dream of breaking a sweat before noon, preferring a walk around the neighborhood after dinner. But is any one time of day the best time to exercise?

The truth is that there’s no reliable evidence to suggest that calories are burned more efficiently at certain times of day. But the time of day can influence how you feel when exercising.

The most important thing, experts say, is to choose a time of day you can stick with, so that exercise becomes a habit.

Your Body Clock

Your body’s circadian rhythm determines whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, and there’s not much you can do to alter it.

Circadian rhythm is governed by the 24-hour pattern of the earth’s rotation. These rhythms influence body functions such as blood pressure, body temperature, hormone levels, and heart rate, all of which play a role in your body’s readiness for exercise.

Using your body clock as a guide to when to go for a walk or hit the gym might seem like a good idea. But, of course, there are other important considerations, such as family and work schedules, or a friend’s availability to walk with you.

The Perks of Morning Exercise

If you have trouble with consistency, morning may be your best time to exercise, experts say.
“Research suggests in terms of performing a consistent exercise habit, individuals who exercise in the morning tend to do better,” says Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief science officer with the American Council on Exercise in San Diego.

The best time to exercise

“The thinking is that they get their exercise in before other time pressures interfere,” Bryant says. “I usually exercise at 6 a.m., because no matter how well-intentioned I am, if I don’t exercise in the morning, other things will squeeze it out.”

He recommends that if you exercise in the morning, when body temperature is lower, you should allow more time to warm up than you would later in the day.

When Insomnia Interferes

Unfortunately, hitting the snooze button repeatedly isn’t exercise. But, if you’ve suffered insomnia the night before, it can seem a lot more appealing than jumping out of bed and hitting the treadmill.

Good, regular bedtime habits can help you beat insomnia. They include winding down before bedtime.
“Your body needs to get ready for sleep,” says Sally A. White, PhD, dean and professor in the College of Education at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.”You want your heart rate and body temperature in a rest zone. It starts the body getting into a habit of sleep.”

Exercising or eating too late sabotages your body’s urge to sleep.
“Both exercise and eating raise your heart rate and temperature,” White tells WebMD. “That’s not conducive to sleeping.”

When Later Is Better

White, who studies achievement motivation in exercise and other areas, says that in spite of good intentions to get up early and get her exercise over with, she is more likely to exercise after work.
“It’s easier to get my body into a rhythm because I’m not fighting my body the way I do in the morning,” she says.

For some people, lunchtime is the best time to exercise, especially if co-workers keep you company. Just be sure to eat after you work out, not before.

“Don’t exercise immediately following a meal,” says Bryant, who lectures internationally on exercise, fitness and nutrition. “The blood that needs to go to your muscles is going to your digestive tract. Give yourself 90 minutes after a heavy meal.”

Finding Your Own Best Time to Exercise

You don’t have to be an expert on circadian rhythms to determine the best time to exercise. Steven Aldana, PhD, advises trying different times of the day.

Work out in the morning for a few weeks, then try noon, then early evening. Which do you enjoy most and which makes you feel best afterward? Also, consider the type of exercise, and other daily commitments.
“Most of all, find a time that helps you make your exercise a regular, consistent part of your life,” says Aldana, a professor of lifestyle medicine in the department of exercise sciences at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. “This is more important than the time of day.”

Establishing the Exercise Habit

One day, you’ll reach a point where daily exercise comes as naturally as breathing. At that point, you may want variety.

“In an effort to stay regularly active, some people change the type of exercise they do and the time of day they do it,” says Aldana, author of The Stop & Go Fast Food Nutrition Guide.  “Keeping it fresh makes it more enjoyable and more likely to be continued.”

But if you’re still at the point where exercise is hit or miss, scheduling it for the same time each day will help you make it a habit. Whether you choose morning, lunchtime, or after work to exercise, make it part of your routine.

“People who are just starting out and who exercise randomly are more likely to drop out,” White says.
She adds that starting out can be as simple as changing the route you come home from work so that you drive by a gym.  “Get into the habit of going that way, and keep a bag of exercise gear in your car or at work,” she says.

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Dr Akilah El  is a certified personal fitness trainer, nutritionist  and also holds a PhD degree in Naturopathic Medicine. She has been helping people all lover the world successfully achieve their weight loss and fitness goals for over 10 years. To learn more about how you can benefit from her easy to use weight loss and fitness programs go to:http://www.celestialhealing.net/weightlossintro.htm

10 Reasons Why Women Should Lift Weights

10 Reasons Why Lifting Weights Is Good For Women

Everyone has seen the adverts showing men lifting weights and looking great, but who knew weightlifting was equally beneficial to women? Researchers have recently found compelling reasons for women to start lifting weights too, but the number of women following this advice is still very small. Here are the top ten reasons you should hit the weights…

1. It’ll make you strong!

Including weights in your exercise program will help strengthen the muscles. Recent studies have shown that even moderate weight training can increase a women’s overall strength by 50%. Wouldn’t you love to show your boyfriend/husband that you are not just a fragile girl. And imagine all the extra shopping bags you can carry!

2. It’ll tone you up!

A woman who weight trains three a week for two months will lose thirty pounds of fat, and gain four pounds of muscle. This means you’ll appear much slimmer, and weigh less too! And who doesn’t like a super toned body like all the hot celebrities out there.

Only Steroids and HGH will make women bulk up this

Unlike men, women will not appear “bigger” because of more muscle unless they are taking anabolic steroids or human growth hormone drugs. That is of course if you lift appropriate weights and don’t overdo it like female body builders who have their own reasons for doing so. When done right, your body will get toned and you will look slimmer much like a sports woman from the Olympics!

4. It makes your bones STRONGER!

Weight training increases the vitality of the bones, and prevents osteoporosis, a horrible and sometimes crippling illness. Bone density improves around 20% in six months of weight training, but improves fastest when teamed with a high calcium diet.

5. You’ll be healthier!

Not only will your bones be strong, your muscles and connective tissues will improve too, meaning you are much less likely to pull or strain muscles, or to suffer from arthritis which even though quite a common foot problem can be avoided. A 12 year study conducted recently showed that strengthening the muscles in the lower back reduced back pain by 80%!

6. You protect your heart!

Weight training is proven to lower bad cholesterol, and blood pressure. These are both key signs of unhealthiness, which can really affect your heart, so keeping them as low as possible is important. If you weight train and do a form of cardiovascular exercise, the benefits are maximised.

Oldest Female Bodybuilder in The World

Ernestine Shepherd World”s Oldest Bodybuilder at 75 years old!

7. It’s never too late!

Even women in their 80’s and 90’s can benefit from learning to weight train, as long as it is done in a safe environment. The benefits can be enjoyed at any age and your resultant healthy heart will thank you!

8. You’re less likely to suffer from diabetes!

Weight training appears to improve the body’s ability to process sugar, which reduces the chances of diabetes. Of course there are cures for diabetes. But prevention is better than cure right? Training can improve glucose usage by 23% in the first two months! As diabetes is a growing problem, this is a huge benefit.

9. You will improve your outlook!

Ten weeks of weight training has been proven to increase confidence and fight depression, due to feeling capable and the feel good hormones being released. What a perfect way to keep your mind and body healthy!

10. You’ll increase your performance!

Training will make everyday activities much easier, so whether you can cycle that bit further or run that bit faster, you’ll see the difference in your everyday life, too. It can even help with hobbies such as golf! And let me not even begin to state the great effects it will have on your sex life!

Staying fit can be hard work, and with so many suggestions, you feel like it’s much easier to just stick to the treadmill. The benefits of weight training are unbeatable though, so get down to a gym and see what your personal trainer recommends. I did, and now I love it! Plus, you never know who you’ll meet… Have you started lifting weights, and felt the benefits? Please share your stories!

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

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