When it comes to exercise, our reasons for doing so are often related to losing weight, getting fit and reducing the risk of developing certain diseases. What we’re yet to factor in is the detail that it can improve your lifespan – and we have the research that will back this up.
It makes sense, right? If we’re exercising to become better versions of ourselves – and to prevent the onset of certain diseases – then it’s only logical that, by default, we’re also prolonging our lives? This long-living benefit is not only linked to the physical aspect of exercise but on a cellular level as well.
Brigham Young University led a study of almost 6 000 adults and found that the ends of the chromosomes (telomeres), which shorten as we age, are longer in active individuals than those who lead slow-paced lifestyles. This resulted in almost a nine-year age difference between active and inactive individuals
In a second study, they compared the muscles, lungs and heart of active and inactive 70-year olds as well as that of active 40-year olds. The active group of 70-year olds were found to have similar heart, lung and muscle capacity compared to those of the 40-year-old age group.
How Often Should You Exercise?
You don’t necessarily need to sign up for a marathon or CrossFit competition to improve your life span. Regular activity such as daily walks has been found to increase your lifespan by almost seven years compared to inactive people. This has been achieved regardless of age, weight, gender and pre-existing health conditions.
A simple 15-minute walk has the potential to change your life and as long as you make it a habit – and occasionally step up the intensity. It’s recommended that the average person needs 150 minutes of exercise a week. Don’t let the time frame scare you. This can include anything from cleaning the house to a trip to the mall and even walking around the home.
It is certainly not too late to start with an exercise plan, even if you’ve been inactive for years. By slowly incorporating exercise into your lifestyle, you can increase your lifespan. We do, however, advise that you speak with your doctor if you have been inactive as they will have the best advice to get you started on your exercise journey – from body-appropriate exercises to healthy eating habits and everything in between.
Additional Benefits of Exercising
- Exercise is anti-inflammatory and can lessen the effects of ageing.
- Improved muscle, bone and joint health.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Improves mood.
- Better sleep.
- More energy.
- Improved cognitive abilities.
- Improved memory.
- A stronger immune system.
- Aids digestion.
The facts speak for themselves! The benefits of exercise continue to change our lives as long as we put in the effort to reap the results. Lao Tzu said it best, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” and it’s the best way to describe the beginning of every fitness journey. There’s never been a better excuse to start exercising, living forever – or as long as possible – is the ultimate dream.
Exercising is more than an anti-ageing elixir; it has the potential to revolutionise your life! If you would like to discover more about becoming a personal trainer and teaching others how to harness the capabilities of exercise, please follow this link.