I developed an exercise program tailored for seniors and it takes just minutes a day.
My research and experience with my own elderly patients shows there are specific exercises for older adults that not only burn fat, but make you younger from head to toe.
You won’t find me recommending that you run a marathon or participate in other long, backbreaking workouts. Most doctors will tell you that type of exercise is good for you. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Long periods of steady aerobic training without pushing hard enough to catch your breath actually creates a smaller, less powerful heart and lungs. This reduces your body’s capacity to deal with stress.
What I’m talking about is a type of exercise that not only increases the capacity of your lungs and your heart, but also helps you turn back the hands of time by influencing the length of your telomeres.
Telomeres are the tiny caps at the ends of every cell’s DNA strand. They are a measure of your body’s true biological age.
When your telomeres get shorter and shorter over time, they signal your body to make older, more decrepit cells. This robs you of your vitality and leaves you vulnerable to chronic diseases and the dreaded signs of aging.
But by doing the right kind of fitness and movement, you can actually make your telomeres longer and stronger.
How to Get 9 Years Younger
In a groundbreaking study, researchers in London found that people who exercised vigorously for relatively short periods of time per day had telomeres that looked a full 9 years younger than those who did no exercise or too much exercise.i
This shows that short bursts of challenging exercise can help slow down your aging clock, lengthen your life and make you more resistant to disease. This is the core philosophy of my exercise program, PACE (Progressively Accelerating Cardiopulmonary Exertion).
PACE is the world’s first anti-aging fitness regimen. Its brief but vigorous routines of increasing intensity are specifically designed to help support and lengthen your telomeres, while increasing the strength and capacity of your heart and lungs. The program allows seniors to go at their own pace, and offers modified versions of each move, making it adaptable for older adults at any fitness level, or physical condition.
In just 12 minutes per day, PACE can help you:
- burn fat
- relieve stress
- restore youthful function
- lengthen your life
And the really great thing about my PACE system is you don’t need expensive equipment or a gym membership to do it. All you need is a few feet of space and your body.
The Hindu Squat
Often, my senior patients get excited about starting PACE but don’t know where to begin. A good introduction is one of my favorite leg exercises called the Hindu Squat. It’s a great strength training move that you can do right now in the comfort of your own home.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Extend your arms out in front of you, parallel to the ground with your hands open and palms facing down.
- Inhale briskly and pull your hands straight back toward you as if you’re rowing.
- As you pull back, turn your wrists up and make a fist.
- At the end of the inhalation, your elbows should be behind you with both hands in a fist, palm side up.
- From this position, exhale, bend your knees and squat.
- Let your arms fall to your sides and touch the ground with the tips of your fingers.
- Continue exhaling and let your arms swing up as you stand back up to the starting position.
PACE: Page 154 of book, or 172 from PDF
Repeat at the pace of one repetition every four seconds. Once you are comfortable with the form, you can increase your speed to one squat per second. Repeat until you feel winded. Rest, recover and do two more sets.
It’s important to keep in mind that increasing your strength through exercises like the Hindu Squat — not doing “aerobics” or other endurance exercise — is what makes the difference.
With more core strength, you’ll do a lot more for yourself than avoid injury.
Researchers at the University of Delaware discovered that strength training significantly improves both neuron and muscle response responsible not only for power, but for coordination and balance.ii
Plus, with Hindu squats you’ll be building leg strength. And research shows that leg strength is the number one predictor of how active, healthy and mobile you’ll stay as you get older.iii
To find PACE exercise videos appropriate for seniors and learn more about my PACE anti-aging fitness plan click here.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
iCherkas LF1, Hunkin JL, Kato BS, Richards JB, Gardner JP, Surdulescu GL, Kimura M, Lu X, Spector TD, Aviv A. The association between physical activity in leisure time and leukocyte telomere length. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jan 28;168(2):154-8. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2007.39.
iiCristopher A. Knight and Gary Kamen, “Modulation of motor unit firing rates during a complex sinusoidal force task in young and older adults,” Journal of Applied Physiology, 102(2007): 122-129.
iiiSwallow, Elisabeth B., et al, “Quadriceps strength predicts mortality in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” Thorax 2007;62:115-120