Monday, April 6, 2009

The Fountain Of Youth Discovered In The Weight Room?

“Ponce Deleon searched all over Florida for it. Countless creams and lotions promise it. Bottles of supplements lining the shelves of GNC and health food stores claim the ability to do it. Research has now discovered the real fountain of youth and it surprisingly lies smack in the middle of your health club’s weight room. We all know that lifting weights helps us to build muscle and tone but scientific studies have shown that lifting weights helps us improve longevity and health in several ways. One major way is that weight lifting increases the level of growth hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. The study, by researchers from several U.S. sites, was led by William J. Kraemer, PhD, of the University of Connecticut at Storrs.
In the study, women who underwent six months of moderate- or high-intensity training and aerobic exercise had increased levels of various forms of growth hormone. Moreover, the types of growth hormone were more biologically active than growth hormone variants found in women who did not regularly exercise. Growth hormone has been associated with healthy skin, reduced body fat, higher energy levels and more muscle mass. Weight training has also been associated with increased bone mass. Numerous studies demonstrate strength training's ability to increase bone mass, especially spinal bone mass. According to a research study by Ontario's McMaster University it was found that a year-long strength training program increased the spinal bone mass of postmenopausal women by nine percent. Furthermore, women who do not participate in strength training actually experience a decrease in bone mass. Decreased bone mass is a risk indicator for hip fractures; a major debilitating factor for people as they age. In Prescription Alternatives, Professor Earl Mindell and Professor Virginia Hopkins detail these findings: ‘In a recent study on bone density and exercise, older women who did high-intensity weight lifting two days per week for a year were able to increase their bone density by one percent, while a control group of women who did not exercise had a bone density decrease of 1.8 to 2.5 percent. The women who exercised also had improved muscle strength and better balance, while both decreased in the non-exercising group.’ Increased bone density, improved muscle strength, better balance -- these three things will maintain health and vitality well into our senior years. No matter what creams or lotions you use or what supplements you take nothing can compare to a consistent work out routine in keeping us youthful and active.”

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