6 Workout Secrets for Longevity

Follow these easy fitness tips for optimum performance

 / Shutterstock

The biggest motivation for people to start exercising is to look good naked. While there is nothing wrong with that – whatever gets you moving, right? – working out has more perks. Longevity is one of the most important ones.  

Studies have linked light jogging to living longer – just 2.5 hours a week of the aerobic exercise can add between five and six years to your life. You can extend that by tweaking your training regimen in five more ways.

Resistance exercises are crucial for longevity. People lose muscles mass as they age and they need to build it back. But you can’t just sit and do bicep curls. There is a lot more to it than that. You can’t hurry the process either. Bodybuilding is not an exact science, but some of the rules are very strict and not following them can backfire on you.

Warm Up and Cool Down

Torwai Seubsri / Shutterstock

Warming up and cooling down are the most enjoyable parts of working out. They are easy and the body feels good. Getting your muscles ready for exercises has proven to improve performance. The body needs to gradually transition from one stage to another for optimum response. You want your heart rate to increase slowly and avoid shock. That will loosen the joints and speed up the blood flow to the muscles. Combine that with stretching and you’re doing a good job as preventing possible injuries.

Breathe Right

Diego Cervo / Shutterstock

There is a right way of breathing which can very easily be disrupted when you’re tired or stressed, causing you to feel even more exhausted and under the weather. Breathing is instinctive but you can control it. Use your ab muscles and diaphragm to inhale. That’s how you take deep, slow and long breaths, which is the right combination. Add consistency and it becomes a perfect combination. Breathe through your nose because its function is to clean the air from the harmful particles in it. Proper breathing helps active people exercise longer using less effort.

Order of Exercises

racorn / Shutterstock

Your training program matters. Just because you can mix it up and substitute one group of exercises for another doesn’t mean you should. How you set up your workout regimen plays a huge role in how long you can exercise. You can train certain muscles with lighter weights, in a way warming them up, before you get to the vigorous routine. Do you start with cardio exercises or go straight to the kettlebells? You have to consider your current form and goals.     

More Movement with Weightlifting

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock

“I prefer exercises that teach people how to move better as opposed to targeting one muscle group at a time,” Chris Leib, a doctor of physical therapy at Movement Professional, says. Movements that require you to sit are not helpful, he adds, because you’ve been sitting all day. “You’re only applying the same pressure on your body” and the idea is to move around and as much as you can. To avoid pain by stressing the same muscles over and over again, incorporate various types of bodyweight training that involve more complex movements.

Add More Strength Training

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends four types of trainings for people as they get older – strength, balance, endurance and stretching exercises. People lose body mass with time and that’s why they need to build muscles to increase the metabolism, which helps regulate weight and blood sugar levels.

Walk Heel-to-Toe

LeventeGyori / Shutterstock

How you walk is important for which muscles in your body are working and for overall energy efficiency.  Walking heel to toe is, for humans, the most efficient way. It takes nearly twice as much energy to walk on your toes than it does to land on your heel. In addition to that, if you walk in the toes-to-heels way, then you’re reducing the amount your Achilles tendon stretches, and your soleus muscles (under the knee to the heel) don’t work as much.  

More readings:

The Best Things to Do to Look Unbelievably Fit and Fabulous Over 50

17 Most Common Fitness Injuries and How to Prevent Them

What Genetic Traits Reveal About Your Health