Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Fountain of Youth?

A recent study in the UK involving 300 people  suggested that exercise was as effective as medications in the treatment of stroke, and heart disease.  The researchers were conservative in their conclusions and ended up stating something to the effect that folks should not quit taking their meds but it might help them a bit to exercise also.

Studies from the Cooper Institute which have been largely ignored except by exercise afficionados, are more to the point.  In comparing folks who exercise and folks who do not exercise, and specifying this to be cardio exercise (or aerobic exercise in which the individual raises the heartrate to aerobic level and keeps it there for at least 20 minutes - this includes walking, bicycling, skating etc), Cooper and others found that doing cardio exercise for 30 minutes at least 5 days a week, not only reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke and thrombosis by 40% but also can add 10-15 years to lifespan if the person keeps it up for years.

That's huge but doing cardio seems to be something many people dread doing.  They do it on and off so not consistent with it and obviously feel it's about as much fun as having a root canal.

Truth being that cardio exercise is the type of exercise that does not hurt, and includes fun activities like bicycling and skating.  Even a brisk walk can invigorate a person.

Experts tell us exercise is a habit we must work at but actually, it's more of a commitment. I feel certain that if folks knew how much of a health benefit exercise is, they'd work to do it. Unfortunately, few of us hear anything about cardio from our medical providers and when the exercise fad of the early 1990's ended, so did any mention of exercise on TV end.

Bottom line - our muscles want to be worked, our bodies not only enjoy exercise but thrive on a regular exercise program.  Exercise is the closest thing to the fountain of youth I've found.  It may not be good for causing a weight loss but it's certainly good for most anything else to do with our health.

So dust off that bicycle or those skates or your walking shoes and get some exercise in this week.  Your body will love it and so will your heart!