Saturday, November 19, 2011

Anti Aging Vitamins - The Key to Slowing Down Aging

Aging is a natural process that all of us go through, a process where over time our physical and mental attributes slowly but surely erode. Although aging is a natural part of life, accepting it can be difficult. Fortunately, there are ways to delay the aging process, to slow down the effects that age has on us. A healthy diet and regular exercise are of course important, but the results you get can be improved upon greatly by taking anti aging vitamins. By providing our bodies with the vitamins and minerals that they need, we can help to ensure that they function at the highest level possible. In addition, antioxidants can help to minimize the results of free radicals which will in turn further slow down the aging process. By taking anti aging vitamins on a regular basis you give your body the supplements that it needs to perform at an optimal level and slow down the aging process.

One of the main mistakes that people make when thinking about which vitamins to take is that they don't use them on a regular basis. Using vitamins sporadically simply is not effective. In order to get the most out of your vitamins, it's important to take them daily. Most vitamins will only help your body if they are consumed on a regular basis so that they remain at effective levels. In fact, many vitamins won't begin to show any effect at all for several weeks since it takes a good deal of time for them to build up to effective levels in your body. Another common mistake that people make when looking into anti aging vitamins is that they think they need something different than their normal vitamin. While taking many different supplements can be beneficial, the truth is that the daily vitamin that you may already be taking can be very effective. If the vitamin you are taking is a multipurpose liquid vitamin that contains a combination of the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs, then it is likely to be just as effective as a more expensive replacement. Liquid vitamins that are highly bioavailable are key.

As we get older it becomes increasingly important to take better care of ourselves. It's important to eat a healthy balanced diet, and to engage in regular exercise. It's equally important to take anti aging vitamins on a regular basis. The combination of diet, exercise, and vitamins can help to reduce the negative impact that age has on us. By taking proper care of ourselves we can live not only longer lives, but healthier lives as well. For many of us, growing old gracefully isn't something that we are willing to embrace. Instead we choose to slow down the aging process as much as possible, we choose to retain our intellectual and physical prowess for as long as possible. Why give in to the effects of aging without a fight? Instead, by taking care of your body and supplementing with anti aging vitamins, you can reduce the effects of aging and live a longer, fuller life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Great Exercise for Keeping Us Young

Back in the day, every bodybuilding expert and would be "Mr..." something recommended working the hamstrings for all the wrong reasons. Because in my humble opinion, too many of those experts looked at the hamstrings as being analogous to the biceps of the upper arm. And who could blame them, or the neophytes among us?

The hamstrings are medically identified as biceps femoris. The front portion of the upper arm is called biceps. Ah ha - the same name must mean they are the same, hence, let's all train them the same.

But it's not the same. Let's be clear that I am not a medical doctor nor am I a licensed fitness guru nor to do I play either of them on TV. Still, I think the main function of the hamstrings is to keep us upright. It is to assist the hips, glutes, and lower back in picking things up. It is to keep our upper body stable as we walk, run, or move forward.

Weak and/or tight hams open us up to lower back injury.

It fights gravity.

As we get older, too many of us tend to stoop. It's as though the weight of the ages are on our shoulders. The young are tall and straight. The sphinx's riddle tells of "walking on all four's in the morning, on two's in afternoon, and on three's in the evening." The elder walk on three's because of the cane.

Yet it need not be so.

And a key to this is having strong, flexible hamstrings.

A great exercise that strengthen and stretches your hamstrings, along with working the glutes, hips, and lower back, is the stiff-legged deadlift. This is not the straight leg variety that locks your legs ramrod straight. A stiff-legged deadlift keeps a bend in your knees that puts your lower back in a stronger position.

This exercise can be done with barbells, dumbbells, or resistance bands. Regardless of what you use, you must remember to keep you back straight and your knees slightly bent throughout the whole movement. Unlike powerlifters, you also do not want to excessively lean back at the top of the movement.

And your hands should not descend more than a few inches past your knees on the downward, end movement. If you keep your back straight and shoulders square, you will not be able to go lower, regardless. The end movement is not to touch your toes but to get a great stretch in your hamstrings and glutes. Keeping your shoulders square and back straight is critical to this.

As for how and when to do them, I would suggest about twice a week along with an overall quad movement like the lunge.

Although I am a big fan of squats, I think as we get older; it may not be the most productive exercise out there. If it works for you, then by all means; you should continue to do them.

But at this point, I think pairing stiff-legged deadlifts with dumbbell lunges make more sense. And, I recommend twice a week. Your objective should be 3 to 4 sets with the repetition range between 12 to 15 reps.

I have always recommended doing squats, lunges, and deadlifts as being the best combination of exercises for legs. For those of us over 50, I think dropping the squats makes some sense. Lunges and deadlifts will get the job done while keeping us out of the injury zone.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SLOW Principles for Supplements and Aging

Slow solutions are those that can be incorporated into our daily routine. Supplements as a way to support healthy aging are no exception. They are not for whenever we remember to take them, or for lining our bathroom cupboard. They are not for taking in one fad of enthusiasm and then stopping when the fashion changes. This may do more harm than good. For example, antioxidant supplements also stimulate pro-oxidant pathways to balance our systems. This isn't a problem while the antioxidant remains around, but may be an issue if they are stopped. This may be one reason why the best successes are achieved by a diet high in antioxidants, as we are less likely to forget to eat than to take a pill. Sustainability must be a key goal when choosing supplements to support healthy aging especially when compared to dietary changes. One way to get the most of our supplement and aging plan is to establish a routine.

Supplementation as a positive experience
Supplements are not the bitter pill we had to swallow in order to ensure good health, or a punishment for the nutritionally wicked. We will never stay this kind of course. If we are going to embrace supplements, like any relationship, it helps to like what we are hugging.

* Information is important. We need to know as much as we can about our supplement and how it will support a healthy aging process.

* Nothing is without side effects in some individuals. This is especially the case if it actually works. Find out what they are. While we need to be conscious of unwanted effects, we also need to actively take steps to minimize them. This can be as simple as timing and optimizing the dosage, or shopping around for a formulation for healthy aging that sits right with you.

* Introduce supplements one at a time and note any positive or negative changes over a week or two. Pay attention and keep a record. If you feel neutral or good, then introduce a new supplement until you are taking all of the supplements in your plan. If you don't care how you feel, you have to ask why you are taking the supplements in the first place!

* Track the benefits. Make note of any improvements or changes in your health and aging when taking supplements. While this is a subjective measure, it is also one of the best measures of personal health. If the supplement we are taking is for prevention, then we may not notice an obvious change in our own health outcomes. However, there may be changes in our biochemical tests. Ask your health care provider to go over these with you at appropriate intervals.

Don't be exclusive
The best option is never contained in a single pill. Although supplements are often regarded as 'alternative medicines', they cannot be regarded as an alternative to a good diet, exercise, lifestyle or other healthy practices mentioned in this book. This includes cancer screening and lowering of blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In fact these activities are even more important to live long enough to make the most of our supplements. For this reason, it is better to consider supplements as synergistic or complementary therapies used in addition to, and to the advantage of other interventions that underpin healthy aging.

For example, starting any dietary supplements should also be accompanied by a review of our diet plan. We might find that substituting fresh broccoli for pasta is a cheaper and tastier alternative. Or we might identify that there is not enough B12 or iron in our current vegetarian diet that may be more readily corrected with supplements, so dietary changes can proceed at a slower pace or with a different focus (such as weight control).

Supplements can also help us get through periods when our health focus is elsewhere, like work/relationship stress, weight gain or disease. Rather than dropping one ball while trying to pick up another, supplements can give us the time and resilience for more holistic interventions.

Don't go it alone
Don't go it alone when tackling the choice of using (or not) supplements. You will need help learning about the options first.

There are almost too many options available - certainly too many to be covered in any one web site! One place to start is to ask for a little help. There are many professionals out there to offer advice and make practical suggestions. A growing number of doctors and health care professionals are able to offer useful advice about the role supplements can have in our aims for aging well.

If one doctor doesn't understand, find one that does or consider a provider who is knowledgeable in this area. Look to find someone who will be a guide or a coach, rather than one who says you must only do something their way. Shop around. Assess their credentials. Gather information from a variety of sources and evaluate the information carefully. If you know someone who's gone there, ask them about their experiences. Call the provider to request an interview.

It's about you, Goldilocks
No matter what we read on the Internet, everybody is different. So find out about yourself, and listen to the feedback. Follow progress as we go and set new goals as we are doing it. It is important to follow our successes and failures. Keep a log or a journal to follow how we are performing. Use testing to establish your areas of focus and choose supplements at the right dose that will meet that need. Not everything will work. Some of us will not tolerate some of the very concentrated products on the market. Some will not work at the doses we can get in some supplements. Others will fit like a glove. Following Goldilocks, and test what best works for you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Anti Aging 101: Winter Skin Care Tips

Dry skin is one of the classic signs of skin aging. As we age, our skin loses its natural oils which help in maintaining the moisture content of our skin. As those oils slowly get depleted, the skin becomes dry and eventually becomes leathery and very rough in texture. Dry skin can happen any time during the year, but it is most common during the winter season. During winter, low temperatures, cold winds and low humidity strips off the natural lipid layer of the skin which prevents the skin from drying out. Furthermore, furnaces and fireplaces also suck out our skin's moisture content. This is why it is really quite a challenge to keep a well moisturized and hydrated skin during this time of the year. With this, let me share to you some tips on how to add moisture to your skin and how to keep it locked in this winter.

1. Avoid bathing in hot water. I know it is very tempting to bathe or dip on a tub of hot water during the harsh winter weather. But, did you know that hot water strips off the skin's moisture? This rule also applies to hand washing as well. It is best to use lukewarm water rather than hot water when taking a shower and washing your hands.

2. Avoid bathing frequently. Water, be it cold, warm, lukewarm or hot can actually dry out the skin, so it is best to take a quick bath once a day. Frequent hand washing can also dry out the skin, but of course you can't limit hand washing so just make sure you moisturize your hands after every wash. This winter, it is all about making your contact with water short and sweet.

3. After pat drying your body with your towel, immediately lather up with a rich lotion so that it gets absorbed by the skin. Your pores are still open after taking a bath so it's important to moisturize immediately so that it can be effectively absorbed by your skin.

4. Drink lots of water. Usually we forget that drinking lots of water during the winter season is as important as drinking lots of water during the summer season. It is very important to drink lots of water during the winter season because the skin tends to get easily dehydrated. Winter air is drier which makes our body lose more water, so drink up.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Choosing Cologne For Men

A distinct, signature scent is something that every man should have. Not something that overpowers and lingers in the room long after he's gone, but something that makes people (especially women) think "he smells nice!" when you go in for a hug or have a close conversation.

When choosing a cologne, it can difficult to know where to start, because there are just so many different scents to choose from out there. If you are buying cologne as a gift, a great starting point is to consider the hobbies, lifestyle and interests of the guy you are buying for. Cologne and fragrances make excellent presents for men, but start first with a little bit of a personality profile.

For example, is he an academic? You may be able to tell from his taste for bourbon and scotch, his affection for leather bound books, and his adventurous spirit when it comes to trying new foods and international cuisine. The academic man typically prefers rainy days over very hot and sunny ones, and winter over summer. He may even smoke a pipe. If this is the guy you're shopping for, a great match for him will be a woodsy and spicy scent. Look for a fragrance that lists notes such as moss, spice, clove, and patchouli. One that Esquire magazine recommends is Italian Cyprus by Tom Ford. This spicy scent is perfect for the academic man, and also great for winter because of its woodsy warmth.

What about the guy who prefers to be outdoors and on the beach in the summer, in nothing but a pair of swim trucks? This man will prefer a light, crisp scent over something that is spicy and woodsy. Look for a marine-inspired cologne, such as Hugo Element or Acqua Di Gio by Giorgio Armani. The freshness of these light colognes will compliment his adventurous nature. He also may like Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne, which is a unisex scent that is slightly tropical smelling, or Play by Givenchy, which is very summery and evokes a fun and playful sort of feel.

There are also plenty of good fragrances for the man who is a bit of a romantic. You know the guy. He's the one who goes soft in the knees over cute babies, brings you flowers for no reason at all, and pretends to be annoyed when you put on The Notebook again, but then sits down and watches the whole movie with you. For this guy, choose a cologne that is a little bit sweet and not too overpowering. Look for ones that include notes of citrus, vanilla, herbs such as thyme, and/or flowers such as lily and iris. A good match for the romantic guy is Burberrry Summer, which is slightly musky.

If you have any doubt about what kind of cologne will be best for him, a general rule of thumb is that most men enjoy a woody, masculine and aromatic scent. If you smell a cologne that not only is pleasant to you, but also triggers happy, comforting memories, then this is the cologne you should buy. Good stand-bys that smell nice on just about any man are Guilty by Gucci and Dreamer by Versace.

Even though some colognes are rather expensive, they are worth the investment. Drug store colognes are made of mostly alcohol, and therefore they not only wear off quickly, but they also tend to not smell as nice on the skin as they do in the bottle. Good quality colognes, conversely, smell even better on the skin than in the bottle, as they warm to the wearer's natural body heat, and they are long lasting.