How Exercise Can Help You Live Longer

We all want to live a long and youthful life. Although at a glance it might look like an impossibility, these are direct benefits of regular exercise. The more we improve our fitness levels, the lower our risks of dying from various medical conditions are, as stated by a study recently published in JAMA.

Main Benefits Of Staying Fit

It’s already a medical evidence that exercise has positive effects on the sleep quality. It also helps to maintain a normal body weight, while reducing the risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other severe conditions such as depression or Alzheimer’s disease.

Exercise can even influence breast cancer survivors. There’s a study that shows the positive implications of exercise on this category of patients, as stated by Dr. Rachel Permuth-Levine, Ph.D., researcher, and head of a very important medical institute.

Dr. Permuth-Levine also mentioned a second study which proved that patients with stable heart failure are positively affected by exercise. Their symptoms were alleviated, their quality of life was improved and they needed fewer hospitalization days. For some of them, the risk of death was dramatically decreased. Such studies emphasize the importance of moderate intensity exercise for people who are sick or recovering from various medical conditions, not only for those who are in good health. If this approach works so well for these categories of individuals, the benefits of exercise could be even greater in the case or average people with a good general health.

How To Exercise For Getting Results

You don’t need to exhaust yourself in strenuous workout routines in order to get health benefits. If you can find time to perform moderate exercise five to six times per week, you should be able to see the long-term health benefits of this activity.

There are three things to take into account when seeking to increase your activity level:

Aim for a minimum of two and a half hours of moderate exercise per week. Spread it over multiple days.

Avoid long periods of not exercising. It’s more effective to do something almost every day, rather than push yourself hard once or twice a week and sit still for the rest of the time.

Twice a week, mix your cardio workouts with weight-bearing routines. Their role is to help you strengthen your muscles.

The Key To Success: Turn Exercising Into A Habit

Habits have an immense power, so put an end to the lack of time excuse you may have used too often until now. Even if you are very busy, you can still find 10 minutes once or twice a day for doing some physical activity. You are going to enjoy the health benefits of exercising even if you split it into multiple short sessions. This will make it easier for you to find the required amount of time, even in the middle of a crazy busy schedule.

Be realistic in setting your goals. Don’t aim for a high-intensity training which you might not be ready for. Do only what’s in your power and don’t push your comfort limits too much. Even a brisk walk twice a day can bring you immense health benefits.

If you stick to your exercise routine for a month or two, you are going to find it easier, as it is going to turn into a habit. Exercising is going to be to you what teeth brushing is for all of us: a routine activity you never miss.

Exercise is the Magic Bullet When it Comse to Boosting Your Metabolism

Your metabolism is the process in your body which converts the food that you consume into energy. This energy is used to keep you warm, fuel your respiratory processes, allow you to move, and generally keep you alive. The amount of energy that you burn per day is based on how fast your metabolism works. The best way to ensure that your metabolism is working properly is to exercise. Exercise helps your metabolism in a number of ways.

Resistance training such as weight lifting helps to increase the amount of lean body mass you are carrying. Lean body mass includes bone and muscle. Muscle is metabolically very active, and this means that if you have more of you will burn more calories per day. Your base metabolic rate accounts for the majority of the calories that you burn per day. So, exercising to build more muscle will ensure that even when you are sitting around doing nothing you will burn more calories. A pound of muscle burns 14 calories per day while a pound of fat burns only around one-fifth of that. Resistance training has other health benefits too, preventing age-related loss of muscle, and also helping to improve bone density.

Cardiovascular exercise has a lot of health and metabolic benefits, too. Exercising can increase your metabolic rate for several hours after it is completed. Vigorous, high-intensity exercise that pushes you to work at 85% of your maximum heart rate for a short period of time is an efficient way of causing after-burn, especially if it is combined with longer periods of moderate-intensity cardio. In addition, high-intensity interval training of this type can promote fat burning.

Exercise can increase the number of, and the rate of activity of, the mitochondria in our body. These mitochondria burn fat, and the more you have the greater your metabolic rate will be. Any form of physical activity will promote the growth of mitochondria, but HIT is a particularly efficient way of increasing their activity.

Aerobic activity is also good for managing insulin levels and preventing insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that is involved in the regulation of blood sugar. Many people who are overweight are in danger of developing insulin resistance or other metabolic disorders. Exercise and a healthy diet can help with that.

Diet Is Important For Proper Exercise

Dr. Sue Travis at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, says that in order to exercise, you have to have energy. Where can you get this energy? Well, it’s common knowledge that energy comes from food. Is there a right and wrong food to be eating though for exercise? Absolutely, and below you can see the types and amounts of food you should be eating in order to optimize your exercise routines.
Having the Right Diet for Exercise Is Critical
How much food you need to be eating will be different based on your age, weight, sex, and normal activity level. This is partial because a number of calories that you burn are not only dependent upon the types of exercises you do, but also how hard you are doing the exercises.
Dr. Travis also emphasizes that it is extremely important that your calorie consumption is split among protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates typically come in the forms of sugars and starches. The sugars and starches are digested by the body and then converted into glucose. Glucose is then used by your bodyís muscles for energy. Excess carbohydrates are converted and stored in the liver as glycogen which is released as your body requires it. Glycogen is what provides energy during prolonged endurance and high-intensity workouts. What are some great sources of carbohydrates? You can find carbohydrates in whole-grain bread, many different vegetables, whole grain cereals, fruit, pasta, and rice.
Protein: It is essential when exercising to have a diet rich in protein. This is because protein will slow the absorption of carbohydrates by your body down significantly. What are the top sources of protein in your diet? Protein abundance can be found in meat, chicken, eggs, fish, beans, and lentils. You want to try to consume about 3 ounces of protein containing foods every meal.
Fat: Fat is supposed always be bad, right? Not necessarily, and according to Dr. Travis, you will need fat in your diet as well. You should try to obtain your dietary fat from sources such as low-fat dairy products and lean meat cuts.
According to Dr. Travis, you should always try to have a varying combination of all three nutrient groups listed above with every major meal. An example of a healthy breakfast containing these nutrients would be a high-fiber cereal (such as whole-grain cereal or oatmeal), low-fat dairy such as 1% or skim milk, and a glass of juice or a fresh fruit such as an apple or banana. A quick healthy lunch would be something along the lines of a sandwich with lean meat, fish, or poultry on a whole-grain bread, and couple this with fresh fruit and raw veggies on the side.
While substitute food such as energy bars or protein bars can be useful, it is important not to use them as a full meal replacement, warns Dr. Travis. Look for bars that are low in sugars while having at least 10 g of protein and a few carbohydrates. You should avoid products that have a very high protein count but fall very short in their carbohydrate content.
Your Meal Timing Is Just As Important As Your Meals
If you are typically exercising early in the morning but not eating beforehand, you can quickly use all of your stored energy early on in your workout. If you prefer not to eat breakfast prior to exercising, try to eat at least a small piece of fruit before you begin your workout routine.
If youíre planning to have a very strenuous workout, you should consume a meal that is high in carbohydrates 3 to 4 hours prior to working out. You should also select foods which are easily digested and Dr. Travis suggests experimentation with different foods in order to determine which foods will give you the most energy.
Fluids Are Also Important
Perhaps the most important thing to always do is to ensure you are drinking enough fluids before, during, and after your workouts. If you are doing strenuous exercise, you should try to consume fluids even when you do not feel thirsty.
What are the best fluids to consume? Well, water is, of course, the best choice for most activities. If youíre going to be exercising continuously for at least 90 minutes or longer, you may want to consider drinking a sports drink as they contain electrolytes as well as carbohydrates. The key thing to remember is that sports drinks are specifically created for people who enjoy long endurance based workout regiments. For the average person beginning an exercise routine, sports drinks are not necessary and will simply add empty calories to your diet.
Be certain that the drinks you are consuming do not contain caffeine as caffeine is dehydrating. Dr. Travis recommends that you consume an equal amount of water if you are drinking coffee or any other caffeinated beverages.
Whatís the bottom line of fueling up for exercise? Well, basically if you are consuming enough fluids, eating healthy, regular well-balanced meals which include protein, carbohydrates, and fat, you will have all of the energy required for your upcoming workout plans.