You Can Sustain Youthfulness and Combat Illness With One Method

Woman with bar on back to squat

It’s never too late for anyone to start taking action

I didn’t start exercising to serve my goals until I was in my 30s. I would fluff around and do the odd things here and there, but I was never quite knowledgeable enough to make sustainable changes to my body. It was all about being as lean as possible and losing weight — then it moved towards maintenance & building muscle. As I started getting a lot older without my consent, I realised just how much I benefited from “giving it a try” and then, finally, in my way, developing the skills necessary to make a difference. Perhaps it began as a “weight loss thing” but eventually into “a lifestyle choice.” Most people don’t realise how important exercise and healthy food is now and for our future self. Today, I saw a couple of kids eating crisps at 7 am — and cringed. What kind of lifestyle habits are we setting up for our children to sustain them towards achieving good health. It seems more like parents haven’t put the necessary nutritional habits to set themselves up and their kids. Or are we breeding youth to start accumulating markers of disease? If you hate exercising, the bad news is that it won’t do your health any favours. The good news is that you don’t have to do a lot to get the benefits. Exercise helps keep you young, not only in just looks but also on a genetic level. Doing some form of exercise helps strengthen muscles and bones, improves your mobility and endurance, and lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. I don’t need to tell you that blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes are some of the most significant health problems today. You don’t have to look too far to find someone — younger people are no exception, experiencing some issues with their health. A study published in Aging Cell says that “Late-life exercise mitigates skeletal muscles epigenetic ageing.” A team of seven researchers conducted the following information I will explain. This paper happens to be quite dense, but the data is relatively straightforward, and an experiment was performed on lab mice. Lab mice are near the end of their natural lifespan at about 22 months. During this time, they were allowed access to an exercise wheel. As you might expect, these mice were not coerced to run, so they did so of their own accord, unlike humans. Older mice would run about six to eight kilometres per day, usually in small spurts. The younger mice ran a total of about ten to twelve kilometres. The weighted wheel ensured that these mice built a little bit of muscle. The heaviness can be correlated to a soldier carrying a heavy backpack for miles. After two months of progressive weighted wheel running, these mice were weeks younger than their sedentary mice of the same age — 24 months. While mice have specific lifespans according to their housing conditions, most mice tend to die at about 24 months. So, needless to say, when your lifespan is measured in months, an extra eight weeks is a pretty good gain if you ask me! 

Age and exercise

While this research paper and the findings in mice strengthen the case for exercising, more research is needed to accumulate further learning. The study did not further explain what impact diet and lifestyle have on ageing — which would give us a lot more information on a holistic level. 

Key take away

Health professionals encourage exercise and abolish a sedentary lifestyle at all costs. However, a healthy diet is also the right path to take. Couple these two together, and you have a great starting point towards leading a lifestyle less likely to exhibit disease. I’d also like to point out that the mice exercise on a weighted wheel gives me the impression that our bodies require resistance training to move us towards better health and longer life. There are many other factors to consider, such as how much sleep you’re getting, stress, etc. But overall, this is a pretty good indicator that you should take on some exercise and add in a bit of weight training. Start small and slowly build up towards a more vigorous plan that you enjoy and can sustain throughout your life. I hope this does encourage you to start exercising. Please feel free to read the report here if you prefer (it is pretty in-depth). 

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