Does Exercise Help You Live Longer?

Clients who workout with me in Denver, CO, often note I look a lot younger than I really am. That’s one of the side effects of exercise. You not only look younger, you feel younger and live longer. Those extra years are also healthier years, where you’re more productive and can enjoy life. Why is that? Exercise can aid good health in a number of ways. It can help you lose weight, which is extremely important. A study by Cleveland Clinic and New York School of Medicine found the greatest number of preventable life-years lost were from obesity, followed by diabetes, tobacco use and high blood pressure.

Exercise affects the body in several ways.

Eating healthy is always the first step in a healthy lifestyle and exercise is second. It slows down the aging process and even diminishes the aches and pains that often accompany aging. How does it do that? One way exercise helps is by lengthening the DNA’s telomeres. Telomeres are protection for the DNA. Each time a cell replicates, the telomeres get shorter, but the chromosomes remain intact. They act like aglets, those plastic tips on shoelaces that prevent the lace from fraying and unraveling. Telomeres do the same for DNA to prevent damage to the genes and cell death. The longer the telomeres, the more protection the DNA and cell has.

Adults also have stem cells.

Stem cells don’t just occur in fetuses, even adults have stem cells. Various studies show that if you’re more active, you’ll have more stem cells. Recent studies show that regular exercise can prevent muscle depletion and maintain muscle stem cells that turn into new muscle cells when tissue is damaged. As you increase your level of exercise, your body increases the number of stem cells to replace those cells lost in exercise. It may be the reason exercise helps arthritis pain.

You’ll look years younger when you stay more active.

Not only does exercise boost stem cells, it improves circulation. That sends life giving oxygen and nutrients to all cells in the body. It prevents boosts cell replacement for cells that are injured or die. Even recreational exercise, like bicycling, swimming or walking can help prevent muscle atrophy, boost stem cells, increase circulation and counter muscle loss that often occurs with aging. One study shows that people who went from no exercise to 10,000 steps a day reduced their risk of mortality by 40%. Another study showed adding 3,000 steps a day reduced the risk of dying by 12%.

  • Exercise can lower blood pressure. It increases the amount of nitric oxide that relaxes vessels to lower blood pressure.
  • Stress is a killer. It causes changes to the body that shorten your lifespan. Exercise helps burn off the hormones of stress and replaces them with ones that make you feel good.
  • Both a healthy diet and regular exercise reduce the potential for serious conditions that shorten your lifespan and make you look and feel older. Minor changes, like walking faster can add extra years.
  • Not only will exercise lengthen your life and make you look younger, it will make you feel younger, too. Exercise can add years to your life and life to those years.

For more information, contact us today at Jarfit

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