By Paul Vander Straaten
Did you know that dancing and physical activity actually ages your body? This concept is hard to grasp as dancing keeps us fit and active, but we must understand what ageing actually is. As every day, week, month and year passes we age. However, ageing is not just about time versus wrinkles.
Ageing is the breakdown of cellular function and free radicals are responsible. They are highly charged molecules which run around the body burning everything they touch. They damage healthy cells (skin cells, muscle cells, heart cells, liver cells, etc) and in turn compromise healthy cellular function.
We breathe about 23,000 times a day. From this, oxygen goes into every cell in our body to give it energy. About 3-5% of this oxygen escapes in the form of free radicals (from ‘Health & Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life’ by *Dr Russell Blaylock). This is cellular oxidation and is the natural ageing process.
From breathing alone, each cell takes 10,000 free radical hits per day. This is called oxidative stress. We never stop breathing, so free radicals are constantly being generated in our body, even when we sleep.
So how does dancing fit into the ageing process? The lifestyle choices we make have a huge impact on our rate of ageing because they increase the number of free radicals in our body. When you are dancing your heart pumps faster and you breathe more. The harder and faster you breathe the more free radicals you are generating. It’s likely that dancing regularly and intensely could increase free radicals by 20% or more which directly increases the speed at which you age.
But we love to dance ! It brings us happiness and purpose, and most of us will never stop dancing in one form or another, and neither should we. Dancing and regular exercise helps to keep us healthy and fit, and we need to keep active, but we must understand this activity does place stress on our bodies and increases the rate of our ageing.
So the question is what can we do about this ageing? How do we slow down the ageing process to improve and extend our dancing life? The answer is antioxidants. They neutralize free radicals and slow the ageing process. We find antioxidants in fruits and vegetables. Slowing down the ageing effects of dancing is as simple as having a daily nutritional plan that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Almost 90% of Australians don’t eat the daily recommendation of 2 fruits and 5 vegetables every day (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2001). This means there are a lot of dancers that are not giving their bodies what they need, and as a result are ageing faster than they need to. We are all getting older, but we don’t have to speed up the process!
If you truly love to dance, then an antioxidant rich diet is paramount. Let fruits and vegetables rule your diet. Simply add a piece of fruit (different each time) to breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try frying up a tomato, some garlic, onions and mushrooms when having your bacon and eggs. Use avocado instead of margarine on your sandwich. Simply eat a carrot for a snack. Throw in some broccoli, squash, zucchini and capsicum when making your spaghetti rather than just meat and tomato. There are so many opportunities in a day to enjoy more fruits and vegetables. It just takes a little planning and munching.
Give your body what it needs to stay young and keep on dancing!
If you are one of the 90% of Australian’s that fail to consume enough fruits and vegetables then I recommend supporting your diet with Juice Plus. It has all the thousands of antioxidants found in 17 different fruits and vegetables. If you would like to boost your antioxidant intake please visit www.fruitandvegwithjuiceplus.com
Paul Vander Straaten
Health & Fitness Consultant
Director of Healthaddiction Personal Fitness Training
Certificate IV Personal Trainer
Paul has been working in the fitness industry for 9 years. His focus for the last 6 years has been on nutrition and how important it is in achieving optimal health. He believes that nutrition is vitally important when it comes to good health and that a plant based diet must rule our daily nutritional plan if we are to live long and strong. Good health is easy and Juice Plus just makes it even easier.
* Russell L. Blaylock, MD is a retired neurosurgeon and author. He is a former clinical assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and is a visiting professor in the biology department at Belhaven University. He is the author of a number of books and papers, including Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills (1994), Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life (2002), and Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients (2003), and writes a monthly newsletter, the Blaylock Wellness Report. (Biography from Wikipedia)
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Photos: Dancer © Dmytro Konstantynov, Dreamstime.com Vegetables © Richard Thomas, Dreamstime.com