Why is it important to stay fit for longevity?

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Ever heard the saying “You are what you eat”? In other words, if you don’t eat healthily and cleanly you won’t be healthy. The same is true for fitness. The more you exercise, the fitter you’ll become.

Tips to stay active and increase longevity!

Remaining fit as you grow older helps with your longevity because fitness ultimately helps you to live longer (1). We’re not saying that we’ve discovered the fountain of youth – far from it! There are scientifically backed studies which show that maintaining your fitness levels into your later life will contribute positively towards your longevity. Here’s why.

Keeping fit keeps your organs functioning well

It’s a proven fact that if you keep fit and healthy, your internal organs will function well. This will ensure that you remain healthy well into your later years. Take, for instance, doing regular cardiovascular exercise such as running on the treadmill or taking part in a spinning class. This type of exercise works your heart and lungs, among other parts of your body. As a result, these two organs will become fitter. Thus, doing regular cardio will make you less susceptible to heart diseases such as coronary artery disease or congestive heart failure (2). So maintaining your levels of cardio fitness will indeed help to promote longevity!

Maintaining fitness levels improves muscle tone

 Regular strength and resistance training help to maintain muscle tone. This type of training doesn’t just involve lifting weights or working out on weight machines. Exercise forms such as Pilates also fall under the category of resistance training as you use your own body weight to resist against whereas, with weight training, you use the weights as a form of resistance. The increased muscle tone you have – especially as your grow older – the younger you will look as your skin will be firmer and more supple. Even though your birth certificate says that you’re growing older, you won’t look it!

Resistance training helps with maintaining bone density

Doing resistance training will help you maintain your levels of bone density (3). So, if you have high bone density levels you will be less prone to crippling diseases, in later life, such as osteoporosis.  This means that doing resistance training and maintaining your fitness levels definitely help to promote your longevity! If you do not know how to weight train properly it is a good idea to employ the help of a personal trainer to assist you.

Exercise helps to reduce stress and increase longevity

 In this day and age, we are all prone to stress – whether it be at work, home or in our communities. The effects of stress can be seriously debilitating. These can cause us to suffer more often from the common cold to – at the other extreme – causing us to suffer from a heart attack.

According to a recent ADAA online poll, some 14 percent of people make use of regular exercise to cope with stress (4). When we exercise, endorphins are released. These help us to calm down and relax – and so do away with the negative effects of stress – which could ultimately end up causing your death. This means that exercise’s stress-busting properties could ultimately help you to live longer.

 Exercise will help you sleep better

 It’s a proven fact that exercise will assist you in sleeping better. As a result, you’ll wake up feeling more refreshed, better able to take on the challenges that the day offers you.

You can spot people who don’t sleep well. They have black rings under their eyes, their skin looks puffy and their concentration wanders constantly. Because they don’t get a good night’s rest, they’ll be more likely to move through the day not being focused. And this lack of focus and concentration could ultimately lead to them causing a fatal car accident and being killed as a result.

How much exercise should I do to improve my longevity?

Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving. Each week adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and 2 days of muscle strengthening activity, according to the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (5).

You don’t need to become a professional athlete or body builder to reap the longevity effects of being fit. A very moderate amount of exercise – such as a gentle walk around your office park at lunchtime or taking the stairs instead of the elevator – will help you maintain your fitness levels. The trick is to maintain a consistent level of exercise. This is because if you don’t workout for a while and then start exercising vigorously, you’ll be more likely to do serious damage to your body.

As can be seen from the above, maintaining your fitness levels will help you live a longer and more productive life. Choose a form of exercise that you enjoy as this will help you to stick with it.

References:

(1) Exercise is key to living longer

(2) How Exercise Helps the Heart

(3) Strength training builds more than muscles

(4) Physical Activity Reduces Stress

(5) Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

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Author
Cara Lucas

InnoVision Health Media reports on health content that is supported by our editorial advisory board and content published in our group of peer reviewed medical journals.

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