To Live Longer, Get Up and Get Moving

Written by on February 26, 2020 in Exercise and Fitness, Health, Longevity & Life Extension with 0 Comments

By Dr. Joseph Mercola |

Want to live longer? Try exercising smarter.

It is not aging that causes a decline in fitness, but a decline in fitness that causes aging, according to  Pocket.

The story points out that instead of slowing down on physical fitness with middle age, you should alternate high-intensity interval training or exercise (HIIT) with periods of lesser exertion and rest unless your health prevents it.

HITT could be something like running or cycling and interspersed with lower-intensity exercise. How do you know if what you are doing is HIIT? Because you will be out of breath and, well, let’s just say it — it will hurt — in a good muscle-burn kind of way.

Increasing the intensity of your workout will also improve your cardiorespiratory fitness, which is associated with longevity. It will also improve your mood, enhance brain performance, increase insulin sensitivity and more.

In fact, if you add any type of activity to your daily routine, you lower your risk of early death.

However, you can’t chow down on junk food and exercise away from the detrimental effects. It doesn’t work that way. Even if you work out intensively, poor nutrition will still cause you to gain weight and increase your risk of developing chronic disease. It’s true: Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand when it comes to optimal health.

Anytime you’re trying a new exercise routine, be sure and listen to your body. Be sure to get enough sleep, drink lots of water and eat nutritious foods.

Did you know that relaxing in a sauna mimics exercise and could also increase your longevity?

“What?” you say, “Could this possibly be true?” Yes! Researchers in Finland — a country where most homes come equipped with a sauna — found that Finnish men who sat in a dry heat sauna seven times per week cut their risk of death from fatal heart problems in half, compared to those who used it only once a week. Those who had four to seven sessions per week had a 61% lower risk for stroke.

These results come about because as you subject your body to heat stress, it gradually becomes acclimated to the heat, bringing about a number of health benefits, including the expelling of toxins and improved blood circulation.  The results were the same, even after confounding factors such as smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels were factored in. Those who sweated it out for 19 minutes or more each session had the greatest benefits.

If you don’t live in Finland and don’t have access to a daily sauna, try walking your way to a longer life. Inactivity is the fourth biggest killer of adults worldwide, and just simply walking for 20 to 25 minutes per day has been found to add anywhere from three to seven years to your life span. Even smokers may increase their life span by nearly four years if they just walk on a regular basis.

Walking can be tremendously beneficial for those struggling with chronic diseases such as obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiovascular disease. Walking has also been shown to lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes, depression, dementia, hormonal imbalances, arthritis, PMS, thyroid disorders, fatigue, varicose veins, and constipation.

Regular walking can be just as beneficial, or more than working out in a gym.

If you suffer from depression, get double the benefits and ease your depression by taking frequent nature walks. Enjoying nature while walking is particularly beneficial for your mood by decreasing rumination — the obsessive mulling over negative experiences.

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