Reasons for exercising can differ from person to person. It’s often related to training for a competitive sport, improving general fitness, losing weight and try to lead a healthier lifestyle. What we tend to forget, is that all of these things contribute to a prolonged lifespan – and we can prove it.
It should make sense. If you’re living a healthy lifestyle and trying to better yourself, surely it has an impact on your life expectancy? After all, exercise has mental, emotional, and physical health benefits.
In a study conducted by Brigham Young University, 6,000 adults were surveyed. The group of people the exercised regularly were found to have longer telomeres than those who don’t. Telomeres are the chromosomes that shorten as we grow older. The estimated age difference between the exercise and no-exercise groups was 9 years.
In another study, two age groups were tested to see how the heart, lung and muscle functioning of active individuals compared to those that are not. Active 70-year olds were found to have the same functioning as that of the 40-year-old group.
Your exercise habits don’t need to be extreme or prepare you to take part in CrossFit competitions – unless you want to. Simple changes in your daily habits can also make a big difference. Daily walks can add almost 7 years to your lifespan – depending on your unique make up of course; no two people are alike, and it will differ.
Try to add a 15-minute walk to your day and you’ll reap the benefits. As you progress, you can increase the intensity and push yourself further. Research states that we should take part in 150 minutes’ worth of exercise a week.
This doesn’t necessarily equate to hours spent at the gym, it simply means that you get off of your bum and move around – even household chores can add to your exercise time.
There’s no excuse not to exercise. We need to change our way of thinking about exercise. Instead of picturing weightlifting at the gym, consider the time spent walking in the mall or playing with your children or pets – it all adds up.
Start with small things and slowly incorporate more intense activities into your day and re-evaluating your eating habits. If you do have health concerns, please speak to your doctor beforehand.
In addition to a prolonged lifespan, exercising can reduce the effects of aging and can be a powerful anti-inflammatory.
It can also improve joint, muscle and bone health. Additional benefits include managing your blood pressure, improving mood, memory and cognitive functioning as well as promote sleep and increase energy levels. Your immune and digestive systems will also reap the benefits of your hard work and dedication.
When you consider the bigger picture and how each decision you make with regards to your body impacts one another in ways that we don’t always think possible. All it takes is one simple step in the right direction – pun intended – and then you can enjoy all the entertainment online in your downtime too, as you’ll have gotten your exercise in.
You won’t know what you’re capable of, and more importantly what your body is capable of unless you give it a shot.