Exercising can slow the aging process. The Diet Coach on research linking physical activity and lifespan
Regular exercise will increase your endurance at any activity. It improves sleep, reduces the problems of arthritis and improves flexibility of joints. Finally there is new data that shows that regular exercise reduces osteoporosis. All of this leads to more independent living and a better quality of life.
The Framingham Heart Study, a well-known research project followed 5,209 residents of a Massachusetts town for more than 40 years, collected detailed information about lifestyles and health. The researchers calculated the effects of low, moderate or high levels of physical activity on life span, accounting for the possible effects of factors such as age, sex, education and whether they smoked or had serious health problems.
People who engaged in moderate activity — the equivalent of walking for 30 minutes a day for five days a week — lived about 1.3 to 1.5 years longer than those who were less active. Those who took on more intense exercise — the equivalent of running half an hour a day five days every week — extended their lives by about 3.5 to 3.7 years, the researchers found. The findings show that even for people who are already middle-aged, exercising more can add years to their lives.
If you are reading this and you are in your 20s or 30s, be happy you are reading this article now. The sooner you start taking care of your body, exercising and eating well, the better your chances of retaining your youthful looks and energy as you grow older.
We are all looking for the “magic pill” that will keep us young. The best way to achieve it is to eat less, and move more.
Obviously, eating healthy and keeping your portions small, results in better health. We all know that being overweight is unhealthy. Carrying extra weight can cause weight induced diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and joint pain just to name the most common illnesses related to being overweight. By staying at a normal body weight you will prolong your life. Many people approach middle age by slowing down and gaining weight, this is more common than we’d like to admit.
Tell us: How are you NOT slowing down? Have you taken on a new career path that invigorates your life? Are you training for a 5K? Share with us how you’re keeping yourself active.
For more stories from Judy Weitzman:
To stay on top of Judy’s latest posts, as well as the latest contributions from other experts on the site: Sign Up for genConnect.