Exercise for maximum health and longevity.
We all exercise for different reasons. A lot of us exercise to avoid getting fat, even though exercise is the least effective strategy for that. Fitness lovers exercise to feel on the top of the world able to move mountains, or to compete and challenge, prove our physical limits — strength, endurance, WOW physique, to get stronger, or bigger, building muscle mass, to have fun and play with friends, to …so many reasons.
We are designed to move and exercise feels good!
At least after we finish it.
But most importantly, for all of us, who want to live younger, fitter, smarter, stronger for longer, exercise, the right kind of exercise, keeps our cells young, strong and efficient, that translates in our long years as fit, healthy, strong, happy beings with a lot of energy to live the life we choose.
Exercise fights 3 enemies of our longevity: inflammation, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, assisting our healthy eating habits a lot.
Exercise produces more stress, and by that activates our body’s restorative and recovery mechanisms — our body produces more antioxidants, cleans up damaged cells’ garbage (autophagy), makes weak cells commit suicide (apoptosis), leaving us with the strongest, most robust and effective cells, that multiply and produce even stronger cells, that live longer and better, giving you the experience of healthy, fit, beautiful body for many many years.
Exercise boosts our immune system, killing weak, ineffective, pro-inflammatory immune cells. That reduces inflammation, keeping bad guys, viruses and bacteria ready to strike any moment, outside.
Not all kinds of exercise are equally good for our longevity and longer health spans, for our telomeres (protective ends of chromosomes that indicate how long we live).
Overtraining and under-recovering is definitely not good, no matter what kind of training you choose to do. (If you often feel low on energy, fatigued, if you get sick often, have mood swings all the time — you might be overtraining, or under-resting for you kind of training.)
Studies show, that professional athletes and people who train a lot don’t get more benefits from more exercise, compared to people, who exercise moderately, but they definitely are better off than sedentary people. So are folks who exercise moderately.
Whether you choose to exercise to get it over with and stay healthy, or choose to train intensely — your telomeres don’t care much, if you do the right kind of training. As it turns out endurance training, training, that improves your cardiovascular fitness, is the most beneficial one for your telomeres and health/lifespans.
You can do it moderately, at least 40 minutes 3 times a week, or you can do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), that is hard but saves a lot of time.
Strength (resistance, weight) training has a lot of benefits — improved bone density, muscle mass, balance and coordination — but when it comes to longevity, as studies show, lifting weights doesn’t make much difference. (Hard to imagine though healthy aging with little muscle mass, fragile bones and weak balance and coordination, isn’t it?)
There is even more to exercise.
Exercise boosts release of dopamine and endorphins — our happy hormones, improving our mood for 3 hours after exercise, reducing depression and anxiety.
Exercise makes us more stress resilient.
Exercise boosts our self-esteem.
All that contributes to more satisfaction in our social life and our work life, increases our sense of meaning of life — all the other aspects associated with long healthy life.
Exercise might not help much with killing our most dangerous fats directly, by burning calories — that’s what healthy eating habits for, but exercise definitely helps indirectly on so many levels, that makes you question the 80/20 rule of weight loss — 80 % results from diet, 20 % results from exercise.
Back to our healthy cells and longer telomeres.
Below are the workouts, that are proven to be most important for cell’s longevity and health.
And stay tuned for more about telomeres tomorrow — sleep, mindful practices, stress and depression management, early ears and healthy telomeres, longevity starts in the womb…
You don’t get healthy and stay healthy.
HEALTH is a DAILY PRACTICE. One bite at a time.
Daily Bite of Health