Active Lifestyle the Key to Longevity
Even if one is supposedly blessed with good genes but is negligent on their lifestyle habits, this will somehow affect their life expectancy. On the other hand, being mindful of the lifestyle we lead by getting enough exercise and practicing proper nutrition may influence the duration of our lifespan. Truthfully, most of us have more control over our life expectancy, and it is up to us to exercise control through our decisions and actions.
The human body is made up of a complex system of organs, tissues and, cells that work together to facilitate the functioning capacity of the body. Our body is also like a machine that needs to be in motion to work and function properly. A machine that is left static for over extended periods has a higher tendency to break down and malfunction compared to the one that is at work. The same goes for the human body – an active body thrives better compared to one that remains stationary constantly.
Nowadays, the majorities of people hold desk-bound jobs and lead a sedentary lifestyle with limited physical movements. Realistically, the kinds of food we consume these days and the lack of physical movements can lead us to our early grave. It is not hard to lead an active lifestyle if we integrate small actions and activities daily.
At the end of the week and year, all these actions would have amounted to more than if you had not started. Physical activity occurs when we engage in movements using our body parts, and there are a variety of physical activities that we can partake in that ranges from the likes of the following nature – endurance or aerobic, balance, flexibility, and strength.
Endurance or Aerobic
Endurance or aerobic activities increases our breathing and heart rate. Engaging in endurance or aerobic activities not only benefits the heart but also influences other organs like the lungs and circulatory system. This helps to improve overall fitness and in the long run improve the endurance of the body.
As such, it will enable a person to carry out a large range of everyday activities without getting tired too easily. Examples of endurance or aerobic activities that will help burn a few extra calories are brisk walking, jogging, and dancing. Even engaging in laborious housework like mowing the lawn also helps to get your heart rate up.
Proper balance is essential to prevent falls, which is a common issue among elderly people and those who are advanced in age. Balance can be trained through lower-body and strength exercises. One of the exercises that can promote balance is Tai-Chi, which involves gentle, flowing movements that requires balance in body form.
Other exercises that train both the lower body and core muscles like squats and crunches will improve one’s stability and balance as well. For those that have a hectic work schedule or has limited time may squeeze in a few routines during lunch breaks like walking backward and sideways or even standing on one leg at a time, which does not require much time.
Flexibility exercises are great to stretch muscles and help our bodies to stay agile and lithe. This is a great form of exercise for most that have a desk-bound job, by integrating movements to keep the muscles active and moving. Being flexible is necessary to facilitate freedom of movement and aids in a wide range of movements.
The greatest benefit of being flexible is that it can help to prevent injuries and back pain as well as contribute to better balance too. Yoga is a great form of exercise to harness flexibility. However, if yoga is not your cup of tea, you may few spend a few minutes of your time on the shoulder and upper arm stretch, as well as calf, stretches just to activate your muscles.
As its name implies, strength exercises will ultimately make your muscles stronger. Strength or resistance training will help boost your muscle's ability to withstand pressure. It enables your body to perform daily activities like climbing stairs and carrying groceries much easier, and you may even be able to perform both tasks simultaneously.
As a beginner, you may start performing strength exercises using your bodyweight like lunges, push-ups, and planks, to name a few. Once you are comfortable with these basic exercises, you may advance to using resistance bands and throwing in some weights into your workouts to get better results.