Fountain of youth
EVERY POUND COUNTS - Alan Choachoy (The Freeman) - July 12, 2014 - 12:00am

Did you know that in ancient China, various emperors sent young men and women to a journey in search for the fountain of life or the fountain of youth. The so-called 'elixir' of life will give you immortality or keep you young. Sad to say none of them has ever returned.

Moving forward from several centuries ago to present time, let me share you a little secret that will save you tons of money on the search for the elixir not for immortality but elixir how to stay young and look young. You don’t need to travel hundreds of miles or visit a doctor's clinic as there is no miracle pill for that matter. All you need is proper diet and exercise.

As we pass the age of 30 years old, our body loses as much as 3- 5 percent muscle every decade. This is a condition known as age-related sarcopenia or sarcopenia. This is mainly due to inactive lifestyle. Although there is no accepted test for specific level of muscle mass for sarcopenia diagnosis. Loss of muscle means loss of strength and mobility.

Here are my thoughts on the secrets of finding your "Foundation of youth". You will look and feel young by simply following these simple tips.

EXERCISE 3-4 TIMES A WEEK. Do simple body weight exercises like the 4-minute workout and BFF workout, I wrote in my previous column. These are  simple body weight exercises that will help you gain muscle but not bulk up. Don’t afraid that you will look like body builders, these guys spend the whole day inside a gym and lifting super heavy weights.

If you go to a gym, try to do a whole body exercises instead of a specific body part workout. Example, instead of doing a simple shoulder press, add a squat so it becomes a squat press. By doing this, you hit a bigger muscle group and it teaches your body’s muscle small and big to work hand in hand. Include short run or jog atleast 30-45 minutes. Short and higher intense, mix your run with short 10-20 second sprints in between.

STRETCHING AFTER EVERY WORKOUT. Stretching lengthens your muscle and help prevent inflammation and recover faster. Stretching also improves range of motion, which give you more room for your muscle fiber to grow or increase.  It is boring but at least spend time between 5-10 minutes. It's better safe than sorry.

EATING RIGHT. Working out/exercising on an empty stomach is a disaster as this will help you lose muscle faster. When your body has no fuel to use during the workout, it uses your muscle as fuel instead. It is best to feed your crying muscle after workout. Don't delay, gobble it down as soon as you finished your workout to replenish lost glycogen and provide the nutrients your body requires to repair muscle and grow more of it.  Skipping meal shifts your body to a survival mode and slows down your metabolism. When you go more than three hours without a meal, your metabolism slows significantly. When that happens, every time you do get a meal, there’s a chance that a large percentage of it will be stored as fat. Because your body is again in survival mode, it would try to store every bit of calorie and hold on to it to make last the whole day. On survival mode your body uses your  muscles a fuel. Remember to eat and choose your food wisely.

SLEEP AND REST. Your muscle repairs itself when you are sleeping. So sleepless nights of bar hoping, dancing and drinking or too much activity will do more harm than good. Take a day off from exercise once a week. Your body and muscle needs to rest, regenerate and recover. Power nap will also give your body much needed rest in between a long day.

CHANGE YOUR ROUTINE. When you’re doing the same exercise over and over again, your body tends to prevent new gains and, at worst, lead to muscle burnout. Adding intensity or using heavier weights is a good way of shocking your muscles, waking it up and actually spur new muscle and strength.

So there is no need to send young men and women to far, far away places in search of the fountain of youth. There are no miracle pills, no magic cream to make you young. The answer is just under our noses. Just follow the simple tips for these will help you stay fit, keep you stronger, healthier and above all, make you feel young and look good as well.

E-mail me at for comments or questions. You may also visit my website at

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