For Immediate Release
Everyone Over 50 Should be Training
"New research shows we can unleash the most powerful body-fat-cutting, muscle-toning, anti-aging substance known to science, naturally, with specific types of exercise," says Phil Campbell, Senior Games participant and the 50-year-old author of a fitness book for middle-age adults. (http://www.nationalseniorgames.org)
Every person older than 50 should be training for the Senior Games in their state, Campbell says.
"Training for many of the Senior Games events makes the body release significant amounts of exercise-induced growth hormone, the substance shown to reduce fat and tone muscle in adults," says Campbell.
Campbell is not alone. The American Heart Association, in a recent news release, cited research showing high-intensity exercise can significantly lower the risk of heart disease. Simply, as exercise intensity goes up, the risk of heart disease goes down.
The researchers compared the impact of different levels of exercise intensity on a group of men with an average age of 66. The subjects in the high-intensity exercise group produced a 31 percent risk reduction for heart disease, which was 14 percent better than those who performed less intense exercise.
"The harder one exercises ... the lower the risk of heart disease," says lead researcher Dr. I-Min Lee, associate professor Harvard Medical School.
Anaerobic exercise (as contrasted with aerobic exercise) involves short, high-intensity sprint training, rather than endurance training.
Researchers show that high-intensity anaerobic workouts that include the short-burst get-you-out-of-breath sprinting types of exercise make your body release significant amounts of growth hormone (HGH), Campbell says (Impact of acute exercise intensity on pulsatile growth hormone release in men, 2000, Pritzlaff).
"As children, HGH makes us grow taller," Campbell explains," but when we reach our full height, this hormone actually changes roles. When we're adults, HGH reduces body fat and trims inches, and it actually becomes the 'fitness hormone' for middle-aged and older adults."
Campbell cites new studies showing that HGH can be increased by as much as 530 percent with sprinting (The time course of the human growth hormone response to a 6s and a 30s cycle ergometer sprint, 2002, Stokes).
sprint workouts can be involve many sports, including running, swimming,
cycling, cross-country skiing, "and all of these are Senior Games
Whatever you do, don't do this!
Don't jump in; ease in to anaerobic exercise. "Anaerobic fitness training is clearly the most productive, but it's also the most dangerous," Campbell cautions. Hamstring pulls are a painful potential injury, so flexibility training is essential to every fitness plan.
Everyone, especially those with heart conditions or medical problems, should get physician clearance before performing anaerobic exercise. "Even young athletes should progressively ease into high-intensity anaerobic workouts," he says.
The American Heart Association study also proves another important point concerning fitness training during aging, Campbell says. "Exercise intensity is relative to a person's age and fitness level."
In other words, an older individual can reach high-intensity levels with an effort level that might be considered low-intensity for a young athlete.
This new study confirms the need for higher intensities, says Campbell, "but it also shows that beginners and older adults can reach the more productive levels of exercise intensity with less effort than a triathlete, for example.
"Newcomers to high-intensity exercise may get great results initially by performing the anaerobic training with power walking," he says, "but a fine-tuned triathlete may need more work for the same results."
Campbell adds, "When you see an 80-year-old participant running a 10-K or working out in the gym, don't think that it's unfortunate that she can't run as fast, or lift as much as her 60-year-old counterparts. It's easier for her to reach higher intensities."
you're older than 50, get physician clearance first, says Campbell. "Select
a Senior Games event or two and get started with a gradual buildup training
RESEARCH SUMMARIES CITED:
Heart Association Release
National Library of Medicine:
GH secretory response to exercise is related to exercise intensity
would appear that the duration of a bout of maximal sprint exercise determines
the magnitude of the HGH response
secretory response to exercise is related to exercise intensity"
conclude that a positive relationship exists between exercise intensity
and both CHO(carbohydrates) expenditure during exercise and fat expenditure
during recovery and that the increase in fat expenditure during recovery
with higher exercise intensities is related to GH release." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=10956336&dopt=Abstract
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