I was at the Manitoba Fitness Council annual conference this
weekend. One of the sessions that peaked
my interest was Dr. Len Kravitz’s presentation on “The Secrets of
Longevity”. Len Kravitz, Ph.D., is the Program Coordinator of Exercise Science
and Research at the University of New Mexico and is well sought out for his
sound research and ground breaking presentations.
What is the Magic Pill or Magic Potion for successful Aging?
Ok, this may not be a surprise, but modern science now has proof, that
the secret to longevity has to do with Exercise. What are the factors that increase the
chance of aging optimally?
& Stress Management
Healthy Nutritional choices.
From a separate lecture, Dr. Kravitz explained that the best Aerobic Exercise
is Low volume Interval Training. Aerobic
activity should be done for a maximum of 30 minutes per day 2 or 3 times a
week. The Best program involves using
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to increase your VO2max – the amount of
oxygen you use. For example, do 1 minute at 90-95% of your maximum heart rate, then reduce to 50-70% of
Maximum Heart Rate. Continue for 8 to 10
bouts. And don’t forget to warm-up before you start. The
point is to work harder – not longer!
Len’s research he wanted to stress a study made by Franklin Booth in 2012 that “Low cardiorespiratory fitness is a sounder
predictor of death than risk factors such as hypertension, smoking and
Wow! If you haven’t started an Aerobic program,
now’s the time!
Regarding Resistance Exercise, use of Weights or Body Weight exercises
is preferred for at least 2 sessions per week.
Exercise is proven to REVERSE the gene expression on 179 genes of aging in the muscle, which
gives credence that Exercise Reverses
the Aging Process!
And, other benefits of Resistance training
include; increase in fat-free mass,
increased bone mineral density, increases in muscular strength, lowers
incidence of chronic disease, improves psychological well-being and increases
Lifestyle strategies are nothing new, but for many, are ignored. You need at least 30 minutes of physical
activity per day. Diet should be high on
fruits and vegetables, substituting chicken, fish, nuts, beans for red
meat. Light alcohol intake (1 drink per
day) is okay, but no smoking. You need 6
-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per day. It is proven that mind-body programs, relaxation
techniques, problem solving (at home and work) and exercise, lead to less
stress, depression and less cognitive decline.
Here is an Affirmation breathing drill to combat stress that was used
by Benjamin Franklin;
Sitting upright, start with a
body scan – notice any stress in the body.
Then repeat the mantra “I am in Control”. Continue for one or two minutes. I prefer to use “I am”(while inhaling) “Relaxed”(while
As Dr. Kravitz talked to the crowd of fitness leaders, he made one
comment on that goal to Longevity that should be passed on–“Get Fit, and KEEP getting Fitter!”
He also spoke about the longevity hot spots around the world. The “Blue Zones”. You may recall my newsletter/blog two years
ago about this (see the attached link for reference: https://dynabody.blogspot.ca/2015_06_01_archive.html?m=0
It was interesting what Len Kravitz found out about the characteristics
of the “Supercentenarians”.
They had high physical and cognitive function, total cholesterol was
under 200 mg/dl, Cardiovascular Disease, Stroke and cancer was rare, Blood
Pressure was in the regular range, BMI was under 22, those who smoked quit at
70 years, and live 90-95% life very healthy.
This is all comparable to a healthy 25 year old! Healthy Centenarians also relied on meaningful
Social interaction – that is why my Fitness Classes are still going strong – we
have a great group of Dynabods – all heading in the right direction!
One of Dr.Len Kravitz’s allies
and mentor’s Dr. Kenneth Cooper of the
Cooper Institute had quoted “We do not stop exercising because we grow old – we
grow old because we stop exercising”.
To finish things off, here is a quote made 2,400 years ago
from Hippocrates “That which is used
develops, and that which is not used wastes away….If there is any deficiency in
food or exercise, the body will fall sick.
Let’s modify that quote to something familiar…