10 Anti-Aging Rules from Oprah's Trainer

Bob Greene shares his best science based insights

10 Anti-Aging Rules From Oprah's Trainer, Bob Greene, Anti-aging

10 Anti-Aging Rules From Oprah's Trainer, Bob Greene, Anti-aging

Bob Greene is Oprah’s personal fitness trainer, a New York Times best-selling author, member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Fitness, and an exercise physiologist specializing in metabolism and weight loss, with a master’s degree from the University of Arizona. Bob Greene has authored 10 best-sellers about weight loss, diet and health, including one with Oprah Winfrey, the “best woman” at his 2004 wedding. The best-selling author spent a decade researching scientific methods to stop aging for his most recent book “20 Years Younger.”

10 Anti-Aging Rules From Oprah's Trainer, Bob Greene, Anti-aging

10 Anti-Aging Rules From Oprah's Trainer, Bob Greene, Anti-aging

I have spent my entire career helping people, many of them busy parents, to live healthier and more fulfilling lives through diet, exercise and motivation. When I became a father myself, I was in my 50s and my two beautiful children changed my perspective on life. To my surprise, I became more acutely aware of my own mortality. This is what steered me to the subject of anti-aging, which I would spend nearly a decade researching.

Here are 10 science-based insights from my most recent book “20 Years Younger.”

10 Anti-Aging Rules From Oprah's Trainer, Bob Greene, Anti-aging

10 Anti-Aging Rules From Oprah's Trainer, Bob Greene, Anti-aging

1. Challenge your body
Aging is, in part, a breakdown of tissues and loss of tissue mass, including muscle, bone and nerve. The single best way to combat tissue loss is by placing stress on the bones and joints through exercise. I prefer relatively higher weights with lower repetitions to best challenge your body. On repetitions nine and 10, you should struggle to lift that weight. The body gets stronger and holds onto its tissues because of messages sent to your genes that it wants to be challenged; that it wants to hunt and gather and do what it was meant to do. Our genetic wiring responds to these signals by keeping us strong. In contrast, if we sit on the couch all day, this sends a message that we are not overly productive, which would, in theory, accelerate aging. The key is not just exercise but challenging exercise.

2. Exercise for one hour every day
The intensity of your workout is most important and the length of time is a close second. The sweet spot is about one hour per day, which is challenging, given our busy schedules. Not surprisingly, if you make yourself a priority, you can find the time and you will reap the rewards. Challenge yourself to finding one hour of time.Don’t forget to switch it up between cardiovascular and strength training workouts.

3. Use motivational tools
I love pedometers. I love them so much I’m a spokesperson for my personal favorite, Omron. These small devices are the easiest way to set goals, track progress and reward yourself. You should wear your pedometer on the belt (or in your purse or bag) where it monitors your activity, heart rate and even sleep. It’s a great reminders, like tying a string on your finger. The best part is, it requires no extra time and checking your results can actually be fun. So fun, in fact, that it’s also an effective tool to motivate kids and set up rewards for achieving goals.

4. Eat fresh and locally grown whole foods
I believe in eating organic food as much as possible. I start with vegetables first, especially the detoxifying crucifers, followed by fruits, legumes and whole grains. Another option that makes eating healthy fun, is to shop at your local farmers’ market. They usually have bargains on freshly grown produce and you can buy direct from the farmer. Community sustainable agriculture is another way to connect directly with farms by buying a share and having your fresh produce come straight from the grower. Shopping locally is better for your family and the reduced impact is better for the planet.

5. Take supplements
I recommend supplementing your diet with at least a good multivitamin and omega 3 supplement. Why? Vitamin D deficiency is common and puts people at risk for bone loss, multiple sclerosis, cancer and a host of other conditions. I ask all my clients to get tested for vitamin deficiencies, so they can alter their diet and supplement as necessary.

6. Eliminate empty calories
Two sources of empty calories I recommend my clients eliminate immediately from their diet, are beverages with any kind of high fructose corn syrup or other forms of sugar and breads and grains that are refined and complex in nature. Bring in super foods such as beans and crucifers (broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower), lycopene-rich tomatoes and high antioxidant berries, grapes and anthocyanin-rich fresh fruits. Try to eat the way you would want your child to eat, with each bite adding some sort of nutritional value.

7. Make your skin look 10 years younger
I recently had sun spots removed from my face. They were caused by too much time outdoors without proper protection and a lack of knowledge about skin care. While working on the book, I met Harold Lancer, MD, a Beverly Hills dermatologist, whose research changed my entire perspective on skin care. I now exfoliate with a skin polisher, then cleanse and moisturize. Dr Lancer suggests that fine grain polishes are necessary to help shed dry and dead skin cells and also to stimulate blood flow. Some of his products use Vitamin C, a common nutrient well-absorbed through the skin. My skin looks better now than it did 10 years ago.

8. Warm up and warm down your body.
It still shocks me how many people do not do a proper stretch routine before and after their workout. A time-saver tip: if you can do your warm up in the heat or in a sauna, it will maximize your work out with little extra time. I do this in my own Sunlighten infrared sauna and have noticed increased flexibility, fewer injuries and a more effective workout overall for both myself and my clients.

9. Don’t forget sleep
Sleep is one of the most overlooked anti-aging secrets. Good quality sleep is imperative for our bodies to properly repair and rejuvenate. In general, you should set yourself up for sleep success by creating an environment conducive to sleep. Start by removing all light and sound from your bedroom. I’m a nut and cover up even the smallest lights from electronics that may be in the room. Also, be sure you do not suffer from common ailments such as sleep apnea and gastric reflux. Both of these conditions can cause insomnia and poor quality sleep; they can be easily diagnosed and treated. Finally, make sure your pillow and mattress are up for the job. My Tempur-Pedic set changed my life and I recommend it to all my clients. Our bodies work hard for us, why not return the favor with a good quality mattress and pillow? Don’t just sleep, regenerate.

10. Check your ‘tude
Purposeful living is a source for a youthful attitude, which I’m convinced keeps us young on several levels. I always ask my clients to look at their lifves and ask themselves if they are happy. If not, invest time in identifying and fixing the source of your unhappiness; be it a toxic relationship, unhealthy work environment, health issues or something else. The process of aging is an important part of our life journey. Have a good solid attitude about aging by associating it with gain, not loss. It will show!

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