Today, as the Baby Boomers approach their golden years, they try harder than ever to hold onto their youth. The evidence of this can be seen in a number of industries. For instance, take a look at the ever-growing popularity of ‘anti-aging’ products. Or, what about the increase in vitamin and herbal supplements that boast of bringing youth and longevity in pill or liquid form?
Cosmetic surgery for the sake of looking young has become almost as common as going to the dentist for a routine cleaning. In the past, such surgery was reserved for the wealthy. Now, however, you’ll see people from all walks of life going under the knife to get a face-lift or a tummy tuck or whatever they think they need to knock years off their appearances! (Keep in mind that any surgery is risky…including cosmetic surgery!)
It seems that there is no end to the extremes that some people will go to in an effort to avoid growing old.
Physical activity requires just that: activity…movement…action! And, research has shown that physical activity can add years to your life! Unfortunately, many Americans have chosen a sedentary lifestyle rather than an active one. They would rather spend thousands of dollars to try to buy their youth, instead of engaging in physical exercise.
Money may be able to give you an outward appearance of being younger than you are. But, all the money in the world can’t make you feel young, unless you do your part.
The fact is that, when it comes to aging, our mental and physical functions tend to thrive, as long as we actively use our minds and our bodies. When we let our minds and bodies stagnate, they begin to diminish and age more quickly. It’s just as the old adage says: “Use it or lose it!”
Regular exercise helps maintain a healthy heart. It reduces the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. For people who already have had heart attacks or coronary heart disease, regular physical activity carried out under the supervision of a physician has been found to be an effective means of rehabilitation. Exercise has also been recognized to noticeably lower blood pressure among those with hypertension and help lower stress.
Exercising regularly helps prevent obesity, reduces the risk for some forms of cancer (i.e. colon/rectal cancer), and is important in preventing many common mental health disorders (i.e. depression, ADHD, insomnia).
Because exercise helps promote good health and physical fitness, your immune system can benefit from exercise and, thus, help your body ward off infections.
According to Charles B. Corbin and Ruth Lindsey in Concepts of Fitness and Wellness, Vol. I, page 26,
“many, if not most, arthritics are in a deconditioned state resulting from a lack of activity. The traditional advice that exercise is to be avoided by arthritics is now being modified in view of the findings that carefully prescribed exercise can improve general fitness and, in some cases, reduce the symptoms of the disease.”
Flexibility exercises help keep you limber and flexible for ease of movement. Strength training builds strong muscles and bones, as well as contributes to the prevention of osteoporosis and other musculoskeletal problems. Endurance training improves your ability to remain active for longer periods of time without getting too tired and winded. Even moderate exercise, such as daily walking, can promote longer, healthier lives.
I don’t know about you…But, I, personally, prefer to fight the aging process naturally…with physical exercise, as well as mental and spiritual exercises, a good attitude, and a healthy diet. I’d much rather exert myself, and feel good inside and out, than go under the knife or spend a fortune on expensive cosmetics that work only on the surface.
Now that you’ve been shown how being active can increase your life span, why not take my advice: get out there and start exercising! There’s plenty to be gained from doing so! Good health and happy exercising!
Note: Before beginning any exercise program, consult your health-care professional.
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