Benefits To Exercise

Staying Active And Eating Properly Increases Longevity And Improves Health

Benefits to exercise are summed up by Steven Blair, a physical fitness scientist, in The New York Times interview The Power Of Everyday Activity.

In summary,

  • We can reduce our mortality risk by 50% with 30 minutes of moderate intensity workouts on 5 or more days of the week.
  • If we increase our workout time to 60 minutes of brisk walking each session, we get another 10 to 15% reduction in mortality risk.
  • The new recommendation also suggests that we should perform 8 to 10 muscular strength and endurance workouts on 2 or more nonconsecutive days each week. Weight resistance should be used that allows 8 to 12 repetitions of each activity.
  • Adults over 65-years old should also include flexibility and balance workouts in their fitness program.
At a minimum we should eat properly, minimize fat and alcohol intake and accumulate 30 minutes of brisk walking on at least 5 days per week.

Reduce Your Risks Of Alzheimer's Disease

Research conducted by Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas and his colleagues at the Columbia University Medical Center shows that eating properly and being physically active reduces our risks of Alzheimer's disease.

Results of the study indicate

  • Living on a Mediterranean style diet reduces our risk of Alzheimer's disease by about 40%.
  • Being physically active reduces our risks of Alzheimer's by 33%.
  • If we combine a Mediterranean type of diet with a physically active life style, we reduce our risk of the disease by 60%.

A Mediterranean Style Diet is high in

  • Fish
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Vegetables
  • Whole Grains
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • With Small Amounts of Red Wine

A summary of Dr. Scarmeas's research can be found in the article Exercise and Mediterranean-Type Diet Combined Appear To Be Associated With Lower Risk For Alzheimer's Disease.

Good health and fitness really do come down to eating properly and staying active.

Is It Too Late To Start On A Fitness Program?

Dr. Jeremy Jacobs of the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center wrote in a report that was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine that it is never too late to start a Fitness Program. The report is titled "Physical Activity, Function, and Longevity Among the Very Old".

According to the report, previously sedentary 85-year old individuals were put on a 4 hour per week fitness program. Their 3-year survival rate was double that of inactive 85-year old individuals.

The 4-hours of activity does not have to be done all at once. A 15-minute stroll a few times a day is sufficient to show a physical fitness benefit as long as it totals to, at least, 4-hours per week of activity.

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