Diet and exercise together are the best investments you can make in yourself and do more to promote longevity and good health than anything medicine has to offer.
Muscles: With aging there is a natural loss of muscle, often replaced with fat. It is a result of lack of exercise and fatty diet. A good diet together with regular exercise can maintain and even improve muscle tone.
Circulation: If you don’t move it, you lose it. Exercise slows the aging process by improving blood flow from head to toe, helping bring oxygen and nutrition to the cells, improving everything from skin tone to our inner organs, and slowing down degeneration that occurs with aging.
Constipation and digestion: Exercise moves the inner you too. It helps relieve constipation and aids digestion, common complaints with aging.
Heart disease: Regular endurance type exercise helps maintain heart health, helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides and raise HDL good cholesterol. It also may improve heart and lung function and help you develop new blood vessels that can help make existing artery blockage less of a factor in heart attack risk.
Diabetes: Diabetics who exercise regularly have better control of blood sugar. Exercise makes cells more receptive to insulin.
Osteoporosis: Weight bearing exercise, together with enough calcium in the diet, helps strengthen your bones and counteract loss of bone density. Walking regularly can help you walk away from osteoporosis, and help prevent degeneration of bone in your spine, hips and legs.
Dementia: Exercise, by improving the circulation to your brain, helps prevent the most common cause of dementia from hardening of the arteries. By improving blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity it can stop another source of brain decline. By increasing brain derived neurotrophic factor it can improve growth and function of and protect neurons.
Mood: Exercise improves mood and counteracts depression. It balances neurotransmitter function. It releases endorphins that give well being and the “runners high, GABA which is antianxiety, serotonin which is antidepressant, and dopamine which energizes.
Stress: It relieves tension and stress, promotes relaxation, better sleep, and helps you be able to deal with stress in a healthy way.
Final note: Most people don’t like to exercise. Treadmills can be boring, especially if you force yourself to do it. And if you do, it will be a waste of time, and will not contribute to healing. So please be sure it is something meaningful, something you enjoy doing. It is better to go out and walk in nature and enjoy the beauty. Great if you can do it with family, with love. Don’t do what I used to do – I would jog in place waiting for red lights to change. Then I learned how much more health benefit I could get by stopping, smelling the roses, chatting with someone and then going on after the light changed.
References: The Ultramind Solution, by Mark Hyman MD, 2009; The Palm Beach Long-Life Diet, by E Joan Barice MD with Kathleen Jonah 1985.
Information shared here is not intended as medical advice, and cannot substitute for professional medical advice and information. Information provided is general in nature and may be helpful to some people but not others, depending on their personal medical needs. Always consult with your personal physician before changing or undertaking a new exercise program or following advice designed for general audiences only. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay getting care because of something you have read here.