Archive for the tag - disease

8 Ways Exercise Keeps You Young.

Want to live a long, happy and healthy life? Research suggests that exercise might just be the fountain of youth for which you are searching.

Here are 8 age-defying effects of exercise:

  1. Faster metabolism – and less body fat. Your metabolic rate is the rate and which your body burns calories to maintain itself. As we age, this rate decreases by a few percentage points each decade until around age 50 – though the amount of food we eat, often does not. As a result, a slower metabolism is one reason (of many) that people tend to gain weight as they age. By combining both strength training and cardiovascular exercise with good nutrition, you can reverse this.
  2. Extends your life and it prevents debilitating disease and illness. Staying active has been linked to both an increase in longevity and decrease in diseases like type II diabetes and obesity. Exercise also has a positive effect on the body’s immune system, preventing illness like the flu or common cold which can become serious in older populations.
  3. Builds stronger bones. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, to create stronger and denser bones, you must put pressure on them. Just like our muscles, bones adjust to the stress put on them. Load bearing exercises and cardio like walking, running and step classes have been proven to increase bone density – making osteoporosis or breaks less likely. Exercises like swimming and cycling are less effective as they don’t put as much pressure on the bones.
  4. Younger cells. Researchers discovered that regular exercisers have longer telomeres – the DNA on either end of thread-like chromosomes. Telomere length is critical to the aging process – once telomeres get too short, cells stop dividing and die. This research suggests that the anti-aging benefits of exercise go all the way to the molecular level.
  5. Improved balance. Earlier in 2010, my grandmother lost her balance on the stairs and took a terrible fall. Though it’s been 10 months, she still walks with a cane and the whole ordeal has aged her greatly. Working out regularly helps improve balance and prevent falls – and there are a number of exercises that target balance specifically.
  6. Better flexibility. Yoga, or exercise programs that incorporate stretching, lead to dramatically improved flexibility. Like balance, flexibility helps prevent falls. And if you do take a tumble, being flexible can help minimize the risk of injury.
  7. More energy. Ever notice how you feel even more tired when you oversleep? Feeling tired and lethargic is often the result of being inactive. Endurance exercises improve stamina and energy.
  8. Improved mental health and brain functioning. Numerous studies have linked exercise to decreased stress, anxiety and depression and improved sleeping patterns and feelings of well being. Studies also show that exercisers perform better on mental tests than sedentary individuals.

Of course, if you extend the timeline out far enough, the survival rate for all of us eventually reaches zero. Exercise isn’t about escaping death; it’s really just about enhancing the quality and quantity of the time you spend on this planet. And more time on Earth = more time to share your love, touch lives and serve others.

You Don’t Have Time NOT to Workout.

One of the most common excuses that I hear is, “I don’t have time to workout.”

It’s an interesting excuse because it’s so obviously untrue.

Did you know that Barack Obama spends 1 hour a day exercising? If the leader of the free world has time to hit the gym, then so do you.

But let’s dig deeper. Exercise extends your life and it prevents debilitating disease.

There is a famous Harvard study (graph pictured) that shows the relationship between physical exercise and longevity. It’s simple: Work out and you’ll live longer. You’ll have more time to do the things you love.

When it comes to disease and illness, think about how debilitating a head cold is. It keeps you out of work, off your routine and prevents you from tackling your busy schedule. Now imagine how debilitating a stroke would be. Or a heart attack. Exercise helps prevent all of that by lowering “bad” cholesterol, enhancing blood flow and helping your heart function more efficiently. Exercise also helps prevent Type II Diabetes, Obesity (which can lead to a number of time-sucking medical issues) and osteoporosis, among other things.

So it’s not a matter of not having enough time to exercise. It’s not having enough time not to exercise.

It’s also about making time. Chances are, you don’t have an hour of nothingness time built into your schedule that you could dedicate to exercise. It’s about moving things around and giving things up – like not watching Jersey Shore or America’s Next Top Model. It’s about prioritizing you, your body and your health.

The bottom line: You don’t have time not to work out.

Any questions?