Most people realize that their eating habits play a major role in the way they look, feel and age. Minor changes in the foods we eat can have a huge impact on our body's physiological processes. Macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) control and regulate every hormone and function of the body. As mentioned earlier, I recommend eating your food in a balanced ratio of 45% carbohydrates, 35% proteins and 20% fats from select sources. This is known as a Macrobolic Diet. I find that this precise nutrient ratio helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and keep insulin, glucagon and cortisol in proper balance in my patients. Balancing these key biomarkers can help to optimize the aging process and improve the quality of our life and health span.
This ratio emphasizes the optimal utilization of each macronutrient for the purpose they are best suited for. Proper choices of carbohydrates will be used for energy and the regulation of blood sugar by balancing key hormones insulin and glucagon. Protein will be utilized to feed your muscles, connective tissue, organs and skin the amino acids they need to support muscle tissue regeneration and repair. Fats will be used as a secondary energy source and also for the production of hormones, reducing inflammation, supporting cardiovascular health, controlling hunger, slowing down digestion and helping to control insulin and glucagon. Excessive amounts or deficiencies in any of these macro-nutrients will negatively impact their ability to perform their function and your ability to balance key anti-aging biomarkers.
The most accurate way to classify carbohydrates is the Glycemic Index (GI), which was developed in 1981. The Glycemic Index measures the power of the carbohydrate content in a specific food to raise blood glucose (sugar) levels after being eaten.
Low-to-moderate GI carbs such as oats and barley are digested more slowly and provide a gradual, steady supply of blood sugar that I often refer to as "Slow Carbs." This slower steady supply of blood sugar is critical in regulating key anti-aging hormones. High GI carbs are digested and converted to glucose (sugar) very quickly, causing a spike in insulin as a response to try to stabilize blood sugar levels. These faster digested carbs not only elevate insulin levels, but also cripple your body's HGH production, raise cortisol (the age accelerating hormone), while contributing to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Lower glycemic carbs, especially when consumed with protein and fat, balance key anti-aging hormones, thereby improving the quality of our life and health span.
Chart of Low Glycemic Index Carbohydrate Foods
|Food||Glycemic Index (GI) as Compared to Glucose (Glucose Value is 100)|
|Grape Nuts cereal||67|
|Shredded wheat cereal||67|
|Whole wheat bread||65|
|Special K cereal||54|
Protein is essential for the growth and repair of the body. It plays a crucial role in virtually all biological processes in the body. All enzymes are made of proteins and are vital for the body's metabolism. Muscle contraction, immune protection, connective tissue, blood cells and the transmission of nerve impulses are all dependent on proteins. Proteins in skin and bone provide structural support and many hormones, such as HGH, are proteins.
When protein requirements are not met, your body uses muscle tissue to acquire the amino acids necessary to maintain these vital bodily functions. This condition is called muscle catabolism and has a catastrophic impact on the aging process. These catabolic conditions result in a number of negative effects, including impaired manufacturing of hormones, compromised immune functions and loss of muscle tissue, which therefore accelerate the aging process.
While it is important to consume adequate amounts of protein for the above mentioned reasons, you should choose lean protein sources that are lower in saturated fat. It is also of great importance to choose a variety of high quality protein sources in order to provide your body with a full spectrum of amino acids. Below is a list of high quality protein sources to incorporate into your daily diet.
High Quality Protein Sources:
Chicken, Turkey, Lean Beef, Tuna, Salmon, Whitefish, Whey, Soy, Casein, Tofu, Cottage Cheese, Skim Milk, Yogurt and Eggs.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) perform key functions in our cells and tissues that the body cannot live without, especially a type of EFAs called "the Omega-3s."
The Omega-3 family of essential fatty acids is involved with insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity. They will also improve amino acid transport to muscle tissue, metabolic rate, cholesterol levels and energy. Omega-3 fatty acids also play a role in alleviating joint pain and inflammation. As you may have found, joint pain and inflammation can sideline your ability to feel and perform your best. Specifically, Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease COX-2 (cyclooxygenase), the enzyme associated with joint degradation and decrease the cytokines (messenger chemicals) associated with inflammation. Simply incorporating high Omega-3 sources into your Macrobolic Diet or supplementing with Omega-3s (especially from fish sources) may be very beneficial in alleviating your joint pain and helping your overall health.
High Quality Omega-3 Sources:
Salmon, Flaxseeds, Whitefish, Tuna, Blue Green Algae and Spirulina.
Dr.Giampapa's Age Management Workout
Dr. Giampapa has developed a short exercise program to be performed before bedtime (when you supplement with Clinical Strength Secretagogue-Gold®) to stimulate an even greater release of HGH into the bloodstream while you sleep. This series of exercises is designed to use major muscle groups and, at the same time, stimulate muscle activity from head to toe. Not only will this simple, quick program aid in natural hormone release, it will improve your body composition (increase lean body mass, decrease body fat), a critical biomarker for optimal health and longevity as we age.
All exercises may be performed with or without dumbbells. If you find that any particular exercise becomes too easy without dumbbells, you may want to use 5-15 lb. weights to create more resistance, which will give you a more challenging workout.
Movement 1: Push–Up
Lie chest-down with your hands at shoulder level, palms flat on the floor (or holding dumbbells) and slightly more than shoulder width apart. Position your feet together and parallel to each other. Look forward rather than down at the floor. Keep your legs straight and your toes tucked under your feet.
Straighten your arms as you push your body up off the floor. Keep your palms fixed at the same position and keep your body straight. Try not to bend or arch your upper or lower back as you push up. Exhale as your arms straighten out. Pause for a moment. Slowly lower your body toward the floor. Bend your arms and keep your palms in fixed position. Keep your body straight and feet together. Lower your body until your chest nears the floor. Try not to bend your back. Keep your knees off the floor and inhale as you bend your arms. Pause for a moment. Begin straightening your arms for a second push-up. Exhale as you raise your body to straight-arm position.
Movement 2: Bent–Over Row/Deadlift
Utilizing dumbbells held in each hand, the exercise begins by bending at the waist and raising dumbbells to complete a rowing motion. Upon completion of the rowing motion and while maintaining a bending position at the waist, return the dumbbells to the top of the toes. Here, a complete straightening of the back occurs, completing the deadlift movement of this phase of the exercise. Completion of phase 1 allows for strengthening and tension on the hamstrings of the rear lower legs, as well as the lower back. These are two key muscle groups that are necessary as we age to maintain an erect spine position and to help stretch the hamstrings that tighten as we age.
Movement 3: Standing Biceps Curl
This action is done slowly and deliberately. Curl the weights up toward your chest until your biceps are fully contracted and return to the start position, controlling the weights throughout each movement. The curl contraction should be measured with a 2 count while the release retraction should be measured with a 4 count. Exhale when you exert energy and inhale when you are relaxed.
Movement 4: Squat
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the dumbbells raised to just above your shoulders. Slowly bend at the knees while keeping your back straight and perpendicular to the floor until your elbows reach your knees. Pause for a moment, then slowly rise to the standing position while keeping the dumbbells in the same position. This strengthens the quadriceps at the front of the thighs and maintains tension on the biceps through the upper portion of the exercise. The deep knee bends also improve ligament strength in the anteromedial cruciate in the areas as well. This is essential in the baby boom population to maintain full range of motion and improve functionality.
Movement 5: Standing Overhead Press
A full bilateral dumbbell shoulder press is accomplished utilizing a slow, continuous motion. At the peak of the shoulder press, the dumbbells are held for a count of 5 and then lowered slowly over another count of 5. This slow, deliberate action of holding the position forces further strength of the deltoid and triceps.
Movement 6: Shrug
With the hands holding the dumbbells at the sides, a slow shrugging motion of the shoulders is accomplished. This strengthens the trapezius muscles and upper back areas. This is accomplished with the neck in a fully extended position and the chin in a perfectly horizontal plane, further strengthening and improving the muscles around the cervical vertebrae.
Movement 7: Toe Raise
Upon completion of the shoulder shrugs and with the hands completely holding the dumbbells at the sides, rise up on the balls of your feet and hold for a minimum count of 5. Not only does this exercise strengthen the lower calf muscles and ball and arch of the foot (the small muscles of the foot), maintaining this to a minimum count of 5 helps with overall balance and stability in general. Both loss of balance and foot stability is one of the major causes of injuries to the older population. A return to the flat-footed position completes this one full cycle and one full rep.
The Workout Program
With the completion of this one set, every major muscle group of the body has been exercised utilizing major muscle groups with a continuous flow of motion, allowing for muscle growth and flexibility as described in this exercise pattern.
The continuous motion of 10 complete reps of this exercise regimen will require no more than approximately 8-10 minutes, but will be a challenging exercise even with light dumbbells and light weights. The forearm and hand muscles must maintain a firm grip on the dumbbells strengthening the hands, wrists and lower arms. Throughout the exercise phases, continuous cardiovascular activity is utilized as the upper half of reps 5 through 10 are completed.
Why This Workout?
This overall muscle stimulation in a continuous fashion will help stimulate the natural release of growth hormone. Conducted in conjunction with the use of Clinical Strength Secretagogue-Gold®, which further focuses on the key hormonal components that trigger growth hormone release, this overall exercise will be an easy addition to any fitness and age management program.
It is recommended that this initial exercise be completed with light weights so that it is relatively easy to accomplish the full 10 reps. As this becomes easier and the muscle groups become more efficient in performing these motions, it is recommended that the weights be increased until the effort required to complete the 10 reps is in the moderate exertion category.
I believe that the combination of Clinical Strength Secretagogue-Gold's ingredients and this natural growth hormone releasing exercise program will be one of your most effective ways of maintaining an optimal body composition and an optimal growth hormone level without the use of actual growth hormone replacement.