Benefits of Exercise for Health and Longevity

The benefits and importance of exercise for your health and longevity also apply to your mind and spirit.

It is good for us all; but if you have been inactive, are overweight, have illness or disease or are recovering, coordinate any new physical activity with your doctor. If she's good, she'll no doubt encourage you . . . but also guide you.

As we get older, and if we do not take good care of our bodies, we tend to lose muscle mass, become less flexible, see our endurance decrease, and have trouble with balance.

Bones and joints may deteriate, organs may not function as well, suseptibility to cardiovascular disease may increase and healthy longevity can be threatened.

Sounds grim, huh? But it does not have to be. Decisions we make and actions we take throughout our lives, before and after we begin aging, can contribute to the above or greatly reduce either the likelihood these things will occur or their severity if they do.

Together with good nutrition, and healthy and youthful attitude and spirit, you need to exercise for healthy living and longevity.

So, what to do? Exercise, of course; but do not feel like you have to make up for neglecting your body all at once or by tomorrow.

Start where you are: persist and improve. Do this and it will work out (no pun there)

Aerobic exercise produces overall health benefits, since it puts more oxygen in your blood and pumps it faster and farther througout your system.

Your heart muscle beats faster, thus also strengthening it; and you take more and deeper breaths.

Your cardiovascular system is kept cleaner, there is less plaque buildup, and cholesterol is improved.

It also helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, helps lower high blood pressure and manage it.

It boosts your stamina and endurance, helps manage weight, reduces fatigue and improves longevity; it improves mood and your sense of well being; and research even suggests it improves cognitive function (thinking, memory . . )

If you could only do one type of activity, we would recommend the gentle but effective aerobic movement of walking.

Treadmill walking actually does have some advantages in that you can set pace and elevation; but the fresh air has its benefits too.

A goal of thirty minutes a day, five days a week is appropriate for most. But, again, if you have special needs or issues, goals should be made in consultation with your doctor.

Benefits of muscle strength training are also important.

As mentioned, we lose muscle mass as we age, so strength exercising becomes important, since muscles keep us strong and better balanced as well as burn calories and contribute to bone strength.

Muscle mass and strength, but also "muscle patterning" in the brain, can increase in response to strength training at any age.

Again, it is important to not try to do things too quickly or attempt too much too soon.

You also do not really need any special equipment; milk or water jugs and can goods will do fine. Or, if you like, rubber tubing is inexpensive, lightweight and effective. Especially nice for traveling.

We recommend strength training at least two days per week with enough time between sessions for your muscles to recover.

There are many benefits to stretching: it increases flexibility, coordination, and range of motion; and it just feels good.

It helps improve posture, curculation, muscle tone and suppleness, and can help releive pain.

You can enjoy stretching every day, even twice if you like, morning and evening.

So exercise for your health and longevity and also benefit your mind and spirit.

Back to Health from Exercise
Benefits of Tai Chi
Benefits of Walking
Benefits of Strength Training