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Mastering Longevity - Exercise Benefits

Updated on January 12, 2011

Exercise for Life

Imagine that somebody discovered a magic fountain. This magic fountain required a difficult journey along a circuitous trail up and down many mountains to reach it. Once you arrived at the fountain, anyone could drink once of its waters and be granted another ten years of healthy life. Would you be interested in making this long arduous trek?

What if you found a magic lamp and a genie appeared offering to grant you a small wish in return for a small favor. So you wish for a long and healthy life. The genie then tells you that he will grant your wish if you will go on a five mile walk every day. Would you begin making those daily walks?

There are no fountains of youth and there aren't any magic genies. However, you can get those ten extra years of healthy life. Just start regular exercise and do it every day. Exercise is actually the good kind of stress for our bodies.

Keep your heart healthy with exercise
Keep your heart healthy with exercise

Health Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise

The best type of exercise for a longer and healthier life is cardiovascular exercise, also known as cardio exercise or a cardio workout. Cardio exercise is exercise that gets your heart going at its optimum level, which is 70 to 80% of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is considered to be 220 minus your age in years. For a 50 year old person, his maximum heart rate would be 220-50=170. His cardio exercise level would be between 119 and 136 heart beats per second. If you want to ignore all the math, exercise fast enough to make you breath hard, but not so hard that you can't talk.

Here are some of the health benefits to cardiovascular exercise:

  • Reduced risk of premature death
  • Reduced risk of premature heart disease
  • Increase levels of healthy cholesterol, while reducing levels of bad cholesterol
  • Reduced risk of diabetes
  • Reduced risk of high blood pressure
  • Reduce high blood pressure if you already suffer from hypertension
  • Reduce depression and anxiety
  • Reduce risk of colon cancer (due to faster digestion of food)
  • Help control your weight
  • Keep bones, muscles, and joints strong
  • Maintain balance and coordination in older people
  • Increases general well being
  • Improves ability to handle stress

Although 30 minutes of exercise every day will give you most of these health benefits, you should exercise at least an hour if you are trying to maintain a trim figure.

Exercise for Life - Every Day - Through the Day

You shouldn't think of exercise as just a chore to get done once every day. You need to start thinking of ways to exercise into different aspects of your daily routine. Movement and motion are good for your body.

Exercise doesn't have to be done all at once either. You can do it in increments. A few ten minute walks through out the day. Do you tend to drive to the store for every little need. Make it an excuse for a walk instead.

Besides my regular exercise, I try to get in small chunks of exercise throughout the day. If I am cooking, then I may do a few jumping jacks or some running in place while waiting for the next cooking step.

Do you watch a lot of television and ignore exercising? Stop feeling guilty about it and start doing some calisthenics during the commercials. The average channel has about 20 minutes of commercials every hour. Three hours of television could give you your hour of exercise every day. Keep a set of dumbbells near your TV to also give you a bit of variety and some strength training too.

Live long and prosper


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