Longevity - How To Retain Youthfulness!
Can a man by definite intention keep himself young?
Such was the question of longevity posed by Physical Culturalist Edwin Checkley in the last chapter of his monumental work
"A Natural Method of Physical Training."
Checkley answered the question with a qualified "yes". In this article we will outline Checkley's approach to longevity and add our own recommendations based on the research of other expert health investigators.
On Retaining Youth
Is the duration of an individual's life entirely dependent on hereditary vigor, or, can we by governing our physical habits become more vigorous than our forebears?
Does our continuance of the proper functioning of our internal organs depend entirely on chance? Or can we preserve such organs in their youthful vigor by a definite program of exercise?
Old age is a physical decay. Elimination death from epidemic diseases, most people die from the debilitating, or improper functioning of some one of the vital organs or glands.
Men of fine build and apparent vigorous health drop dead of heart disease. Such cases are hardly unusual enough to cause comment. Men who suffer from diseases of the liver, lungs, kidneys or from glandular troubles usually bear outward marks of those diseases.
Certainly it is axiomatic that individuals addicted to excess (whether such excesses are in the line of intoxicants, drugs, overeating, sexual indulgences, or muscular exertion) are apt to die when they should be in their prime. And conversely, that those who exercise moderation in living are apt to last a long while.
What are the indications of youthful vigor? An erect carriage of the body, a head held high, a vigorous stride, a flat back and flexibility of joints and muscles.
The signs of age? A drooping head, bent back, feeble step and stiffness of joints and muscles.
Most men of sedentary occupation unquestionably rust out. And this process of rusting out is simply due to lack of exercise - lack of use of the muscles and joints. Sensible men recognize this and act accordingly. Now-a-days you frequently hear an elderly man say that he is "keeping himself young" by playing golf, or by light work in the garden.
Golf and gardening have unquestionably been the physical salvation of many a man. I think the combination of the two beat the most elaborately equipped gymnasium. The only trouble is that ninety percent of us have neither gardens or golf clubs, and the remaining ten percent play or dig, only a few months in each year.
My point is, that all of us, men and women, can keep ourselves young by merely "watching our step." That is by walking, and standing, in such a way that we convert a disagreeable but necessary exertion into a pleasurable and beneficial exercise.
Since first writing my book I have been able to check up, in hundreds of cases, the effect of my theories and teachings.
I can truthfully say that I have taken men in their forties, thin-necked, flat-chested, stoop-shouldered, spindle-shanked chaps, and by instilling an enthusiasm for correct walking, changed them in a few months into deep-chested, flat-backed, round-necked men with well knit legs, and a stride that denoted their inward vigor.
What did it cost them? Nothing but a little will power and watchfulness for the first few weeks, - for during that period they had to purposely make themselves walk and breathe correctly. After a month or so it became a habit.
If a vigorous, springy step, flat back and a head held high are signs of youth, we can prolong youthful vigor by forming the habit of so carrying ourselves.
You may say "That is simply counterfeiting youth" - I deny it, and say emphatically that it is easier, far easier, to keep oneself young by correct method of walking and breathing, than it is by playing golf.
I have already said that the organs could not properly function when the habitual position of the body was markedly improper. Anatomy and physiology are now compulsory subjects in our public schools [or used to be], and no child is [or was] allowed to forget that a man who stoops and holds his chest flat, is not as apt to have as much lung power as a man who stands erect and holds his chest out. All of you know that. But how many of you realize that the proper functioning of the organs in the abdominal cavity is largely dependent on the proper position of the body, and the condition of the muscles of the waist region?
The owner of a torpid liver is generally a lazy individual. I know stout men who can harden their arm muscles because they are proud of their biceps, and keep mental control of that muscle. But they cannot harden the muscles that lie over the stomach (rectus abdominus). If they could, they wouldn't be paunchy. It only takes a little thought and practically no special exercise to keep your waist down, if you carry yourself correctly.
I am not foolish enough to claim that organic diseases can always be cured either by exercise, posture or diet; but I do devoutly believe that one can ward off such diseases by taking muscular exercise that helps the organs to function.
For generations, physicians have prescribed horse-back riding as a curative for certain liver troubles. Riding is a fine exercise, but if you "have a liver" and can't afford a horse, why not try a little rope skipping? It will shake up your liver, and develop your legs and lungs at the same time.
People have such odd ideas about abdominal fat. They seem to think that a big paunch is all external fat; that is fat interlarding and overlying the abdominal muscles. Such external fat is almost invariably accompanied by internal fat - fatty tissue that surrounds and clogs up the organs, that interferes with the free travel of the diaphragm and which may eventually invade and degenerate some of the organs themselves.
And anything that deteriorates one organ shortens life. When the trunk is held naturally every organ is in proper place and is unimpeded in its functions.
Further than that, you cannot carry the trunk properly without developing the muscles of the lower back; and when these muscles are well developed, they have an incredible effect in promoting the activity and continued health of certain glands which have a controlling influence over a man's vitality and vigor. This one effect alone would make the correct posture worthwhile.
Have you noticed how often people speak of a great or successful man as being "erect and vigorous, at the age of 70." The "erectness" has a great deal to do with the vigor and the success.
The few weeks spent in creating the habit of holding the body properly erect will pay dividends in the way of increased years and vigor.
So, my advice is: Even if you are old, persistently walk and stand like a young man, and you will be surprised how soon you will approximate the figure and, in a measure, the vitality of your own youth.
In 1939 Peter Kelder wrote an amazing book detailing how his acquaintenace, Colonel Bradford, had learnt during his far eastern travels, 5 simple exercises which could rejuvenate the entire body.
Learn them here.
Dietary Considerations for Longevity
we have outlined what the optimal diet is for human health. We must drastically reduce our sugar consumption, eat according to the guidelines, and we must not be afraid to eat foods with their natural fats. Our bodies know exactly how to process the fats we need and waste any excess calories through various energy conversion cycles.
has shown that our recommended low carbohydrate, adequate protein, and high fat diet is the best anti-aging diet for maximizing longevity.
It appears that the key to aging slower is to reduce insulin, leptin, glucose, tryglyceride, and T3 levels in the blood. This may also be the reason that calorie restriction or intermittent fasting has been found to be an effective means to slow biological aging.
One version of intermittent fasting is Ori Hofmekler's The Warrior Diet. This way of eating consists of under-eating for 20 hours and over-eating for 4 hours out of every 24 hours.
Essentials For A Long Life
section we examined the importance of using dietary supplements to improve health and longevity. The main reason for this is due to the nutrient depleted foods which are marketed today. Even fifty years ago our produce was far more nutritious than it is today. This
explains in great detail all aspects of the aging process and what is required to slow down the breakdown of the body. The four main aging and disease agents are oxidation, impaired methylation, glycation and inflamation. Inflamation causes fibrosis (scar tissue) which builds up in our blood and organs resulting in the 'itis' and 'osis' diseases.
It should be clear from all the above that we can certainly lessen the effects of the aging process for life-long health and wellness!
Jump from Longevity to The Exercise Protocol
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