It’s no secret that understanding keeps you younger—both in terms of the energy you’ve got and your ability to stay doing the items you’re keen on. “Fitness may be a youth serum,” says physiotherapist and fitness expert Maureen Hagan. “Fitness affects how youthful you look, the way you progress, and your ability to try to do whatever you would like, whenever.”

Hagan has been training clients for quite 20 years with attention on active aging and is additionally a frequently published research reviewer on an equivalent topic. This past weekend at the thought World Fitness Convention, Hagan presented the healthy aging secrets she’s learned from both practice and clinical research. Don’t worry, we’re not close to overhauling your favorite workout. regardless of how old you’re or what you wish to try to for exercise, you’ll use Hagan’s secrets to maneuver better, protect yourself from injury, and feel younger.

1. Squat right

“People tell me, ‘Oh I can’t squat, it hurts my knees,’” then they are going and devour their bag of groceries from the ground,” Hagan says. The point: You squat all the time, so it’s essential that you simply learn to try to to it properly. For women, meaning turning your toes out slightly. this easy fix allows your femur to line up properly within the hip, causing your knees to trace over your ankles rather than caving in. The result: a stronger knee and fewer chances of knee pain. (Men have a special hip structure so that they should squat with toes forward.) Also, “women do get to step their feet slightly wider than their hips,” Hagan adds. “Without the broader stance than hip-width, that knee tracking and movement at the hip cannot happen.”

2. Hack your genetics

Ever hear that you simply can’t change your genes? That’s only partially true. While you can’t change your genetic makeup, you’ll change how certain genes are expressed—that is, what proportion they are doing whatever they are doing. And strength training is one of the simplest ways to try that. Only 26 weeks of resistance training reverses the aging process at the genetic level, research shows. “You can train your tissues to behave the way they did once you were younger,” Hagan says. Furthermore, resistance training preserves muscle mass that we typically lose as we age—5 pounds per decade, on average. (We also gain a mean of 10 pounds of fat per decade. “That’s never fair! It should a minimum of being even!” .Hagan says. Agreed!)

3. Play on the brain gym

Exercise may be a physical crossword, Hagan likes to mention. The more activity you’ll do this also engages your brain, the higher. These can involve reaction training (such as playing tennis or racquetball), memorizing choreography (like you’d in step class or Zumba), and changing direction (common in step, kickboxing, and dance classes).

4. Do more cardio than you think that you would like

While U.S. guidelines involve 150 minutes of cardio per week, Hagan’s examination of research found that 240 minutes per week is perfect for heart health. Aerobic activity improves mitochondrial function (the work of energy-producing organelles in cells), which usually decreases with age. Four hours of cardio every week sound like too much? “If you don’t have much time, interval training is one among the foremost efficient ways to exercise at high enough levels to enhance aerobic fitness,” Hagan says. Click here for recommendations on the way to add intervals to your workout.

5. Make your two brains ask one another

Include some moves where you cross your legs and arms over the midline of your body. Why? The connection between the proper and left hemispheres of your brain deteriorates as you age, which causes “brain farts” (technical name: brain delays) because the hemispheres have trouble communicating with each other, Hagan explains. Crossing limbs force the 2 sides of your brain to speak to at least one another, strengthening the connection between hemispheres. (How cool is that?)

6. Embrace high-impact activity

A lot of older people are afraid to leap because it’ll hurt the knees or hips. “But that’s bogus because you would like to leap in lifestyle, and you would like impact to create bone density,” Hagan says. That doesn’t mean you would like to require up Insanity (the DVD series known for crazy-intense jumping moves). A “forceful step” like you’re squishing a bug is enough to impact to form a difference. consider forceful stepping any time you lunge, squat, or march.

7. Get the BAM

The average American walks only 2,000 steps per day, but experts recommend 10,000. “7,500 steps each day is what we Canadians call the BAM, or bare you-know-what minimum, for health,” Hagan says. Studies show that merely tracking your steps doubles what percentage you’re taking, so strap on one among our 3 Favorite Fitness Trackers and see if you’ll beat your count a day.

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