What happens when we counter the aging process? Well, with daily moderate exercises like squats, arm curls, planks and pushups, we will increase our metabolism and also strengthen our bone density.

You ever heard the expressions “age backwards” or “Are you a Benjamin Button?”

Cute expressions, but to the observer, what’s more intriguing is how do they do it? What’s their secret?

At the heart of it is the acceleration of cell replacement. In our younger years cell replacement is frequent. As we get older, that replacement slows down. This can affect our metabolism, and if we contribute to this by doing nothing and becoming sedentary, this will lead to problems in our joints, arthritis, mobility, weight gain, and yes – accelerated aging.

So what happens when we counter the aging process? Well, with daily moderate exercises like squats, arm curls, planks and pushups, we will increase our metabolism and also strengthen our bone density. In addition to body weight exercises, we should also include weight bearing exercises. The weight bearing exercises will increase our strength, power, lean muscle, and help to accelerate our metabolism.

One of my consistent goals is to inspire those who give up on life: particularly, seniors who honestly think losing mobility and taking a dozen pills a day and being in pain is just the way it’s supposed to be. I also enjoy inspiring athletes who injure themselves and just decide the injury and its after effects are something they have to live with for the rest of their lives. My other goal is to inspire folks who let life get in the way of taking care of themselves, and let themselves go to the point of no longer recognizing themselves.

Two ways to make life easier

So, what are two things all these groups can do that will make their lives easier? Hope and be patient. Hope that things can and will get better, and use patience to ride the storm until it does. I could count on multiple hands the many people I’ve seen start an exercise program due to the pain they have in their joints, lower back, knees, and shoulders, and etc., and hope for the day much of that pain goes away.

They don’t always enjoy exercising, but as their bodies’ condition and strengthen, the improvement makes it all worth it. Giving someone a good reason to get off some of their prescription pills is also a good motivator for people. Over the years, I’ve helped many people of various ages get off their blood pressure medication and their cholesterol medication. Now, their doctor has to make that decision, but getting the body to heal itself to that point is very important.

Dealing with lifelong injuries, like those athletes experience and accident survivors, is also something very important to overcome. Learning different workouts and exercise regimens to strengthen injured areas and the areas that surround it can make a very big difference in our improvement in health and quality of living.

A good example of this is our knees. As we lose overall body weight to take pressure off the knees, keep the knees mobile, and strengthen the areas around the knees, we can make what can often be a painful experience a much better one.

Other injuries in our bodies follow that same common construct. The point of all this overview is the fact that our body is self-healing and anti-aging, as long as we know how to activate it. We’ve learned incredible things about the body in the last 50 years, but some of the most important things have nothing to do with modern medicine. Eating well, getting regular exercise, taking the right supplements, taking care of ourselves spiritually and mentally, and getting regular medical checkups, and preventative maintenance, all play a big factor in anti-aging and living well.

Our attitude also plays a very large part in our longevity and quality of life. It sounds cliché yes, but it doesn’t make it any less true. When I think of people I personally know that live or have lived a long quality of life, I often think of something Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time. And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm.” Those are poetic words that can be difficult to live by sometimes, but if it were easy everybody would do it.

Michael Shaw is a certified master fitness trainer and sports performance nutrition specialist with Above and Beyond Physiques, owner of Shaw Fitness LLC, Club Manager for Snap Fitness Middletown, a member of the Maryland Advisory Council on Physical Fitness, and a fitness and fashion model manager. You can schedule to meet him at Snap Fitness in Middletown or reach him at www.michaelroyshaw.com.