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Published on 11/3/2017 additional information available

Exercises that can add years to your life

# health


To work out is not only about how you will look in your pants or bikini. A few healthy perks of staying in shape includes, boosting heart health, helping your skin and improving your sleep. There is another motivation to this list, when a new study linked jogging to increased life expectancy. We know that exercises are important for our health, but now researchers have found out how many years that can be added to your life by exercising.

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People who engage in leisure-time physical activities can extend their lives by as much as four to six years. Researchers from Copenhagen City Heart Study, found that jogging one to two and a half hours a week in two or three different sessions, was associated with an additional 6.2 years for men and 5.6 years for women.

Despite exercise and physical activity’s health benefits, physical inactivity is a major risk factor – the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, causing 3.2 million deaths globally per year, according to World Health Organization. Lack of exercise is as deadly as smoking.

Why exercise increase your life expectancy

Exercises and physical activities play a vital role in feeling good and adding years to your life. Here is why;

1. Exercise controls your weight

Being obese or overweight re risk factors for a litany of health conditions including, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and more. Exercise is one of the best ways to lose weight, prevent weight gain and to maintain weight loss.

2. It improves your mood

When you are feeling down or you have a stressful day at work, try working out for just half aan hour. Exercise stimulates chemicals in your brain that can help you relax and feel happier.

3. Exercise boosts your energy

Exercise cn improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise deliver nutrients and oxygen to tissues through out your body and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.

4. You sleep better

If you have difficulty falling asleep, regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster, in addition to deepening your sleep. However, exercise too close to your bedtime may make you too energized to fall asleep.

5. Exercise is fun

Exercise can make you unwind, cler your mind from the days stressors and connect you to new friends in a fun social way – go hiking, join a football or a basketball team.

Types of Exercises

Exercise and physical activity fall into four basic categories – endurance, strength, balance and flexibilty. Most people tend to focus on one activity or type of exercise and think they are doing enough.

According to National Institute on Ageing, each type of exercise is different and doing them all gives you more benefits. Some activities fit into more thn one category, however.

1. Endurance

Endurance or aerobic activities increase your breathing and heart rate. They keep your heart, lungs and circulatory system healthy and improve your overall fitness. Building your endurance makes it easier to crry out many of your everyday activities

  • Brisk walking or jogging
  • Yard work ( mowing, digging, raking )
  • Dancing
  • Cycling
  • Running

2. Strength

Strength exercise

Strength exercises are also called strength training or resistance training. Strength exercises make your muscle stronger. Even small increases in strength can make a big difference in your abilty to stay independent and carry out every day such as climbing stairs, carrying groceries aand doing house chores. Try using a resistance band, lifting weights or using your own body weight.

3. Balance

Balance exercises help prevent falls. This is a common problem in older people. Regular lower body strength exercises will also improve your balance and overall well-being. Try standing on one foot, heel-to-toe walk and Tai Chi.

4. Flexibility

” Flexibility exercises will stretch your muscles and help your body stay limber ” says Dr. Julian Whitaker. Being flexible gives you more freedom of movement for other exercises as wells for your everyday activities. Flexibility exercises improve your general health and wellness consequently. Try shoulder and upper arm stretch, calf and  Yoga.

Seniors and Exercise

Seniors and exercises

” Participating in a balanced fitness program contributes to well-being of every age, but it vital for seniors. ” says Dana Sullivan Kilroy. If you have not been active for a while, be sure to take it easy and start slowly. Walking for just five to ten minutes at a time, several dys a week is a great way to begin.

Check with your doctor, suggested Dr. Julian Whitaker before adding more challenging activities to your regimen. The doctor can help create a workout plan that suits your specific needs and goals.

The best aerobic for seniors are low-impact such as walking, water aerobics, swimming, cycling and dance. Other options includes; Yoga, Tai-Chi, square dancing, line dancing, ball room dancing.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) recommend people over the age of 65 participate strength training workouts at least twice a week such as bicep curls, tricep extensions and chest presses; lunges, squats and modified push ups.

CDC reports that falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among seniors. Doing a few basic exercises to improve balance just might come in handy.

If you notice that reaching for objects on high kitchen shelves or getting dressed are not as easy it used to be, you may need to add some stretches to your daily routine.

These forms of exercise could prolong your life and improve the quality of it.

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