Can exercise really extend your life?

I want to start this post off with an announcement, next Tuesday I will be doing a “Training Tuesday” post every Tuesday where I will be creating a gym/outdoor/home workout for you guys to enjoy! My blog is all about helping others and I know how difficult it can be to start working out, so I’m really excited to share with you my favorite workouts.

This post is inspired by a man that regularly attends my local gym. If I could guess, his age range is late 70’s early 80’s and he is in amazing shape.

When I first saw him, he hobbled over towards the cables with his cane in hand determined to get a good workout in. The first things I noticed about this man was obviously his age, but also that he was extremely muscular. Lastly, I saw his will and determination. He didn’t let his age stop him from being physically active and now here I am writing a blog post because he inspired me.

To me, one of the biggest motivators to stay active and healthy is to have a long and fulfilling life, and if I can do that by being active 30 minutes a day, you bet your ass I’m going to do it! We all know that exercise is healthy for us and the benefits are endless, but did you know that studies show that moderate exercise (300 minutes a week) could add on an extra 4.2 years onto your life? That’s insane! So how exactly  does exercise increase your lifespan? I’m going to share with you the top  4 reasons.

 

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(Let’s not forget this really important reason LOL).

 

 

HEALTHY HEART

In America, the number one cause of death is heart disease. Living a sedentary lifestyle actually doubles your risk for heart disease, and all it takes is 30 minutes a day to see improvement in health. Exercise helps prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and helps you maintain an overall healthy weight.

CANCER

Ladies!! Studies have shown that exercising lowers blood estrogen levels, which in turn reduces the risk of breast cancer. Not only that, but more studies suggest that exercise is shown to decrease other cancers such as: esophageal cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, kidney cancer, and myeloid leukemia, myeloma, as well as cancers of the head and neck, rectum, bladder, and lung (in current and former smokers). Crazy right?? Who knew exercising for 30 minutes a day could prevent a life threatening disease.

MENTAL HEALTH

We all have been told that exercising releases “feel good chemicals” into our brains called endorphins. Exercising also reduces stress and can help with anxiety, depression, and some mental disorders. You can read about my experience in my blog post How Fitness Changed My Life.

But guess what else? Exercising also helps slow down and possibly prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. According to the National Institute of Aging, studies have shown that exercise helps prevent this in several ways – one, exercise increases the number of small blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. Two, exercise increases the number of connections between nerve cells in the brain, and lastly, exercise raises the level of nerve growth.

OBESITY

Obesity has become an epidemic in America, but the good thing is there are ways to help prevent this! And yes, you guessed it, exercise!! Obesity raises your risk for certain cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and even miscarriage. Exercising lowers your overall body fat which in turn reduces your risk of being overweight and obese.

 

 

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So aside from these great reasons to stay active, what are some other benefits of physical activity?

  • Gives you more energy
  • Promotes better sleep
  • Slows aging process and deterioration of muscles and bones
  • Boosts immune system
  • Improves confidence
  • Helps with addiction
  • Improves sex life
  • Improves digestion

 

SOURCES

https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/preventing-alzheimers-disease/search-alzheimers-prevention-strategies

https://www.ghc.org/healthAndWellness/?item=/common/healthAndWellness/conditions/heartDisease/exerciseBenefit.html

https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/exercise-linked-with-lower-risk-of-13-types-of-cancer.html

http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/5-ways-exercise-helps-men-live-longer-and-better

12 thoughts on “Can exercise really extend your life?

  1. OMG, I also get inspired when I see really old people working out. I also came across a man in his 70’s at the gym who also had a disease he was fighting but was working out and trying to stay healthy. Also thanks for pointing our these health factors. We all need to read them from time to time!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t tell you how many times I driven past someone in their 70s or 80s who is jogging and thought to myself “what the heck is my excuse?!?!” These are all such important things to note in terms of longevity of life, and they are much of why my husband ad I recently set out to get in better shape for the long haul.

    Like

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