In the early nineteenth century, a young man in London aspired to be a writer.
But everything seemed to be against him.
He had never been able to attend school more than four years.
His father had been flung in jail because he couldn’t pay his debts,
and this young man often knew the pangs of hunger.
Finally, he got a job pasting labels on bottles of
blacking in a rat-infested warehouse,
and he slept at night in a dismal attic room with
two other boys – guttersnipes from the slums of London.
He had so little confidence in his ability to write that
he sneaked out and mailed his first manuscript in the
dead of night so nobody would laugh at him.
Story after story was refused.
Finally the great day came when one was accepted.
True, he wasn’t paid a shilling for it, but one editor had praised him.
One editor had given him recognition.
He was so thrilled that he wandered aimlessly
around the streets with tears rolling down his cheeks.
The praise, the recognition, that he received through
getting one story in print, changed his whole life,
for if it hadn’t been for that encouragement,
he might have spent his entire life working in rat-infested factories.
You may have heard of that boy. His name was Charles Dickens.
Exercise’s anti-gravity effect on your body provides more than enough incentive to hit the gym (hello, perky posterior!). But it only works if you do it correctly-too much of one thing and not enough of another can actually add years to your body.
We talked to the pros to single out the most common exercise habits that age you, and what to do instead.
Mistake: You never take a break
If you’re tired all the time and feel achy and sore, you may not be allowing your body enough time to heal between workouts, which can age you, says John Higgins, MD, associate professor of medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and director of exercise physiology at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.
“In your teens and 20s, it took approximately 18 hours to repair muscle fibers affected by a workout, but this increases to 36 hours in your 40s or older,” he says. Using those same muscles before they’re completely recovered can trigger inflammation. “Workouts become more difficult, your immune system may not function as efficiently, and you may have trouble sleeping,” says Dr. Higgins.
The fix: Take enough time between workouts, and allow at least one whole day for rest per week where you do nothing more than stretching or light yoga (these gentle yoga poses are a great place to start!).
Mistake: You focus only on high-intensity
It’s easy to understand why you’d be drawn to high intensity interval training (HIIT): It burns tons of calories in less time, and the burn continues even after you’ve finished exercising. But if that’s all you do, you’re putting yourself at a higher risk of injuries and wear and tear on your body, says Dr. Higgins.
In fact, the popularity of these high-intensity workouts has led to an increase in rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of muscle fibers so severe it can result in kidney damage and even death. “Though still rare, rhabdo can affect other body organs as well, especially if you allow yourself to become dehydrated,” says Dr. Higgins.
The fix: Allow yourself a minimum of 48 hours of recovery time after a HIIT workout or after intense programs like CrossFit.
Mistake: You only do cardio
If your workout consists of hours of cardio and no weight training, you’re setting yourself up for a less-than-firm body. Muscle burns calories even when you’re resting, so less muscle means fewer calories burned throughout the day, not to mention a lack of muscle tone. And as you age, your muscles become a use-it or lose-it situation: “We start losing muscle at the rate of approximately a half pound a year after the age of 25–or five pounds a decade–without regular strength training,” says Jessica Matthews, MS, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise.
The fix: Include strength training in your workout program at least two to three days per week to maintain and build lean body mass and decrease body fat percentage. (No need to make friends with the meatheads–these 25 toning movesfor women are designed just for you.)
Mistake: You neglect your posture
Few things make you look older than a hunched posture. Worse, the shape of a person’s spinal column may predict her risk of requiring assistance in old age, according to a recent Japanese study published in the Journals of Gerontology. “Everything in life pulls us forward, from sitting and leaning in, to all the new technologies that require us to bend forward to text and type,” says Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, exercise physiologist and author of Beat the Gym.
The fix: Reverse this trend by including pulling and reverse movements in your workout such as seated rows, suggests Holland. Yoga poses such as the Cobra, Mountain Pose, and Tree Pose also help improve posture if incorporated into your workout once or twice weekly.
Mistake: You don’t know your pelvic floor is part of your core
In your quest for a flatter belly, you probably focus on your obliques (the muscles responsible for rotation) and your rectus abdominis (the muscles responsible for the “six pack” effect). But you should also be focusing on your pelvic floor, says Guy Andrews, MA, CSCS, executive director of Exercise ETC, Inc., a provider of fitness education programs in Florida. Neglect your pelvic floor muscles, and you can end up with that soft, round belly many women develop after middle age, as well as urinary incontinence, says Andrews.
The fix: Performing Kegels to activate the pelvic floor is an important part of strengthening your entire core (check out these simple step-by-step Kegel instructions!). Aim for three sets of 10 repetitions, three times a day.
Mistake: You go from zero to 60
If you’re late for class and start lifting and hoisting weights without easing into it, you can wreak havoc on your system, says Dr. Higgins. “The physiological and chemical changes that normally happen with exercise can be more pronounced when you jump into an aggressive routine.” A release of inflammatory chemicals occurs, including thyroid hormones and cytokines (inflammatory proteins), which impact the immune system and make it more difficult to recover, says Dr. Higgins.
The fix: Ease into a routine for five to 10 minutes of easy lifting or moderate cardio before going all out. If 10 minutes is all you have, try one of these 10-minute toners created by Prevention fitness expert Chris Freytag.
Mistake: You only use machines
If you hop on machines for your entire resistance training program, you should add a dumbbell move or two for a greater anti-aging impact, says Holland. “It comes down to functionality and strength for everyday life activities.” Machines lock you into place and stabilize your body, which is fine for beginners, but it doesn’t require working in all planes of motion or using stabilizing core muscles, says Holland. “Free weights enable you to be as strong and fit as you can be and strengthen you optimally.” In addition, free weight require balance, an ability that diminishes with age.
The fix: Alternate free weights one day and then machines the next time you work that same body part. For example, on a machine day, use the chest fly machine, but then swap in dumbbell chest presses at next workout. Or, when working your back, use the seated row machine one day and dumbbell rows the next time.
Mistake: You don’t include power moves
Professional athletes aren’t the only ones who need power. Defined as the ability to exert force in a short amount of time, we use power to get out of the way of a swinging door, dodge a hole in the sidewalk, and to make it across the street before the light turns red, says Holland. “Problem is, we do fewer of these activities as we age, which results in a loss of fast-twitch muscle fibers over time. We lose the ability to react quickly.”
The fix: Simply adding a power move to your regular workout helps: Perform a squat by lowering normally and then quickly standing up and rising up onto your toes; or lower yourself into a lunge at a moderate tempo and explosively return to your starting position.
Mistake: You stick with low-impact workouts
Biking, the elliptical, and low-impact aerobic classes are great cardio workouts, but they don’t do much for your bone density. To stave off osteoporosis, you’ll need some impact, says Andrews. “Impact is an integral part in maintaining bone health: The impact travels up the leg and is absorbed at the hip, thus helping prevent hip fracture after menopause.” In fact, a recent study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise showed that running significantly reduced osteoarthritis and hip replacement risk.
Mistake: You buy bargain sports shoes
Who doesn’t love a good sale? But it’s one thing to buy that bargain purse, and another to cut corners on fitness shoes. “Cheap shoes that aren’t biomechanically correct or suited for specific activities will potentially create imbalances in your lower legs and could lead to back injury,” says Holland. Tennis shoes, for example, are designed to support your foot side to side as well as back and forth, whereas running shoes are designed to help you move forward. “The wrong shoes could also cause you to roll your ankle,” Holland says.
The fix: Find the best shoes for your workout with our ultimate 2013 Sneaker Guide!
The coffee chain Starbucks has asked its customers in the US to stop bringing guns into its outlets.
Starbucks has not imposed a ban, but says guns “should not be part of the Starbucks experience”.
But it said it wanted to give customers “a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life”.
Starbucks has a policy of defaulting to local laws when it comes to whether people can take guns into its 7,000 US outlets.
The company’s stance has won support from the pro-gun lobby, and in August campaigners staged an appreciation day at several outlets.
One location was to have been a Starbucks at Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six staff were killed in a mass shooting at a school in December. The outlet was closed before the event began.
Till then stay safe.
In fact, you can all but negate the metabolic slowdown that happens after 40 by tweaking your diet, exercise, and sleep habits. “Think of your body as an engine—your metabolism is the rate at which your engine runs,” explains Scott Isaacs, M.D., an endocrinologist in Atlanta and author of Hormonal Balance: How to Lose Weight By Understanding Your Hormones and Metabolism. “By making adjustments to these three elements, you can actually make your engine rev higher.”
The eating and exercise tips outlined below are designed to keep your metabolism humming to the tune of up to 10 pounds off in 21 days. Read on for the keys to not only losing, but losing for good.
We already know the reasons you may not want to (you don’t have the time/energy/stomach for it), but leaving for work on an empty stomach is like hitting the pause button on your metabolism. Here’s why: When your brain senses your stomach is empty, it sends a message to your cells to conserve energy in case another meal doesn’t arrive. In other words, your body holds onto the fat stored in your cells instead of helping you burn it off.
Keep reading for more ways to speed up your metabolism.
“Breakfast triggers a process called thermogenesis, where the body signals the brain to activate the metabolic process of turning food into energy,” says Mark Hyman, M.D., author of The Blood Sugar Solution.
Foods high in sugar and processed carbs, on the other hand, can lead to another problem: insulin resistance. “As we get older, it’s crucial to pay attention to how much sugar we’re consuming,” says Diane Kress, R.D., author of The Metabolism Miracle. “Too much messes with your metabolism by causing your body to store extra calories as fat.”
That’s especially true if you challenge yourself: A new study in the journalCell Metabolism suggests that intense bouts of exercise can “turn on” genes responsible for energy metabolism. Researchers found that the activation of these fat-burning genes was higher in cyclists who pedaled at 80 percent of their aerobic capacity versus those who did a more moderate cycling session at 40 percent.
So although you can’t permanently change your DNA (if only!), experts say exercise can fire up certain genes that initiate the fat-burning process.
Exercise is particularly helpful once you pass the age of 40, when your metabolism naturally begins to slow down. Experts used to believe it slowed due to an inevitable loss of muscle mass. However, a study in the journalThe Physician and Sports Medicine found that fit women ages 41 to 81 who continued to exercise four to five times a week as they got older had little change in body composition.
The real reason you lose muscle with age? You stop using it. “We now know that women who keep up a regular vigorous fitness routine don’t experience the metabolic decrease,” Isaacs says.
But that’s not all: A Swedish study found that even one night of disrupted sleep can cause the body to burn up to 20 percent fewer calories the following day. “Sleep deprivation impacts multiple hormones related to metabolism,” Isaacs says. “Resistance to leptin—a hormone that regulates body weight—increases, while levels of ghrelin, a hormone that signals to your brain that you’re hungry, also increase.”
Aim for seven to eight hours of pillow time a night, advises Hyman. “Just a small change in your sleep schedule can make a big difference in your health.” Not to mention your ability to burn calories.