Wang Deshun is widely known as China’s “hottest grandpa.” He burst onto the international fashion scene last year as runway model…at age 80.1
His chiseled body and energetic step seem like those of a teenager. As he struts on stage, women of all ages swoon and shout in adoration at the sight of his thin waist and broad chest.
Off stage, everybody has one question for Wang: How does he defy aging?
He says it’s simple. He exercises both mind and body.
Each morning he exercises his brain by reading challenging books and newspapers. And each afternoon he swims at least a half mile.
Wang enjoys a drink. And he doesn’t follow a special diet. He feels that by staying active mentally and physically, he doesn’t need to. “I am not picky at all about what I eat,” he says. “I eat whatever I want.”2
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Wang says that he was athletic in his younger days, but never in particularly great shape. He joined a theater group in his 30s. As he was turning 50, he decided that he wanted to do performance art where most of his body would be exposed. But he felt he wasn’t toned enough.
He’d always been a swimmer. But he decided to be more disciplined about it. And he added gym workouts.
Today, he says he does not hit the gym as often. But he has stuck to his swimming routine.
Exercise Secret for Successful Aging
Physiologists say swimming is an excellent way to age successfully.3
It burns about 600 calories per hour. Cycling burns roughly the same amount. And jogging burns a little more. But neither cycling nor running have health benefits comparable to swimming.
Swimming is a non-impact exercise. It causes very little stress on the knees and back. This means there’s little potential for injury.
Other swimming benefits include:
- Muscle tone: Moving in the water is a form of resistance training. That’s because it is 14% harder to move through water than air. So you get both strength and cardiovascular benefits.4
- Full-body workout: It works virtually all your muscle groups…upper body, core, and legs.5
- Arthritis relief: The Centers for Disease Control states that water-based exercise helps ease the pain in arthritic joints better than other activities.
- Better overall health: Studies show swimming reduces anxiety, helps weight loss, and improves bone health. It also helps with flexibility and posture.6
- Prevents falls: Falling is among the greatest health threats faced by seniors. Each year about one in five older adults suffer a fall that causes serious injury, such as a broken bone or head trauma.
A 2014 Australian study found that no exercise lowers the risk of falls better than swimming. Researchers looked at 1,700 men over 70. They compared the types of exercise the men did with their likelihood of experiencing a fall over a four-year period.
Men who swam were a third less likely to fall. Other forms of exercise showed no protection against falls. Researchers say swimming causes adults to have better balance.7
There’s one other thing you should know about successful aging…recent studies show that the symptoms of aging are just like any others. They can be treated or eliminated.
Go here to discover specific ways you can stop the clock.
In Good Health,
Executive Director, INH Health Watch
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