Hide this
 

Regular Exercise Reduces a Large Number of Health Risks

December 09, 2010 | 48,447 views
Share This Article Share

excerciseRegular exercise can reduce the risk and symptoms of more than 20 physical and mental health conditions, and can also slow down how quickly your body ages.

A review of research, which summarized the findings of 40 papers published between 2006 and 2010, found that exercise affects conditions including cancer, heart disease, dementia, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, obesity and high blood pressure.

Science Daily reports:

"... [A]part from not smoking, being physically active is the most powerful lifestyle choice any individual can make to improve their health."

A separate study also found that women who exercise for 150 minutes a week or more could be reducing their risk of endometrial cancer, whether or not they are overweight.

Researchers examined data collected from a case-control study that included almost 700 women with endometrial cancer and compared them to a similar number of age-matched control women. Those who exercised for 150 minutes a week or more had a 34 percent reduced risk of endometrial cancer.

Newswise reports:

"This association was more pronounced among active women with a body mass index (BMI) less than 25, or underweight women, where the reduction in risk was 73 percent compared with inactive women with a BMI more than 25, or what is commonly considered overweight.

Although BMI showed a strong association with endometrial cancer, even women who were overweight, but still active, had a 52 percent lower risk."

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Exercise is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful ways to improve your health. If you're still avoiding it, perhaps this latest study will be the final straw that motivates you to take action, espece shortening, so it is clearly a very powerful anti-aging strategy.

Research indicates physically active people have significantly less erosion of telomeres than even healthy, non-smoking, but sedentary folks. Exercise activates the enzyme telomerase, which stabilizes telomeres, producing an anti-aging effect at the cellular level.

What Can Exercise Do for You? What Can't It!

ially in light of the New Year fast approaching.

 

After reviewing 40 papers published between 2006 and 2010, researchers found that exercise reduces the risk of about two dozen health conditions, ranging from cancer and heart disease to type 2 diabetes, stroke, dementia and depression.

Exercise also slows down the rate of aging itself, providing perhaps the closest example of a real life fountain of youth as we will ever find.

Exercise is about so Much More Than Weight Loss

Exercise can help you to lose weight, it's one of its most widely known benefits, but it offers disease protection far beyond that. So whether you are overweight or not, exercise needs to be a part of your lifestyle if you want to achieve optimal health.

Regular exercise, even when initiated late in life, can help slow down the aging process so you'll be less likely to suffer from chronic disease or disability, and more likely to be fit and trim, agile, mobile and happy, even as you get older.

This is in part due to exercise's effects on telomeres. Telomeres are strands of DNA at the ends of your chromosomes that protect them from damage. The progressive and gradual erosion of telomeres leads to aging on a cellular level -- think of them as a kind of biological clock.

As telomeres shorten more, cell death occurs. These cell deaths are associated with serious disease and premature aging.

The leading anti-aging research is on how to prevent telomere shortening and develop therapies to lengthen telomeres, as many experts believe that lengthening telomeres could actually turn the biological clock backward.

Well, exercise has been associated with preventing telomer

There are just so many benefits of exercise -- far more than I can fit in this space -- so I will highlight just a smattering of them.

One of the primary benefits of exercise is that it normalizes your insulin and leptin levels, with the secondary benefits of weight loss and normalization of blood sugars. These basic factors in turn cascade outward, creating a ripple effect of positive health benefits, which include:

Improving your brainpower and boosting your IQ Lowering your risk of heart disease and cancer Building strong bones
Lowering your blood pressure Curing insomnia Losing weight
Relieving pain Balancing your mood and fighting depression Increasing your energy levels
Acquiring fewer colds Lowering your risk of diabetes and reversing pre-diabetes Slowing down your aging process

In fact, a study from 2008 concluded that fitness is a far better indicator of overall health and longevity than even body mass index (BMI). What this means is that even if you're overweight or obese, exercise will still provide you with measurable benefits. It will also most likely help you with weight loss as well.

Exercise also improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood. The job of these cells is to neutralize pathogens throughout your body.

The better these cells circulate, the more efficient your immune system is at locating and defending against viruses and diseases trying to attack your body. Your immune system is your first line of defense against everything from minor illnesses like a cold or the flu right up through devastating, life-threatening diseases like cancer.

Further, when researchers measured the biochemical changes that occur during exercise, they found alterations in more than 20 different metabolites. Some of these compounds help you burn calories and fat while others help stabilize your blood sugar, among other benefits as well.

Are You Ready to Get Active?

Lace up a pair of running shoes and hit the gym. Even a brisk walk a few times a week is better than nothing, particularly if you are new to exercise or very out of shape. However, it is not much better than doing nothing as it really provides virtually none of the benefits described above.

To achieve the full range of benefits of exercise you need to exercise more intensely so you will want to tailor your fitness plan to include a variety of more challenging techniques.

You should be getting in not only strength training and aerobics, but also core-building activities, stretching and more.

But please don't make the mistake I did for decades by wasting your time logging in steady, hour-long cardio sessions on the treadmill as your primary form of exercise.

That may sound like a major conflict with everything you have read about exercise but let me tell you that I was a runner for over 40 years and logged in tens of thousands of miles. So I am coming from a background of major personal experience. Most people will experience the most significant benefits from implementing a mixture of burst-type cardio exercises, strength training, and core exercises.

Peak Fitness Will Get You Into Peak Physical Condition in a Fraction of the Time

I recently coined the term "Peak Fitness" to represent a comprehensive exercise program that includes far more than merely cardio training. It can improve your health in ways you cannot get from typical methods of exercise, including greater weight loss from less exercise time.

While this program still includes some conventional aerobic and core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and stretching, the major change is that twice a week you do 'Sprint 8 exercises,' which raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by a 90-second recovery period.

These Peak Fitness exercises have the benefit of really boosting your fat metabolism, which may be what's missing from many people's routines. But in addition, and perhaps even more importantly, they engage your super-fast muscle fibers, which can increase your production of growth hormone.

Human growth hormone (HGH) strongly influences your biological aging process. The higher your levels of growth hormone, the healthier and stronger you're going to be. And the longer you can keep your body producing higher levels of HGH, the longer you will likely experience robust health and strength.

For a more complete, in-depth explanation of my Peak Fitness regimen, please review this recent article.


Since I have been doing the Peak Fitness Exercise program I have:

  • Lowered my overall body fat from 17.4% down to 9.5%
  • Lost 16 lbs. while gaining 6 lbs. of muscle
  • Lost 3 1/2 inches off my waist
  • Gained 1 inch on my arms
  • Gained 11 inch on my legs
  • Gained 3 inches on my chest

You can experience benefits like this too, as Sprint 8 exercises are incredibly easy to learn, take just 20 minutes from start to finish, and you can do them just about anywhere.

You Say You Don't Have Time to Exercise?

This is probably the most common reason people give for not exercising; they say they just don't have the time. Well let me put it to you this way: exercise is every bit as important as eating, sleeping and breathing!

It should not be viewed as an ancillary part of your day, but rather a necessity. You probably don't go a week without eating, and you should not go a week without exercise either. In fact, you typically shouldn't go more than a couple of days at most without it.

The trick to making time for exercise is to view it as a non-negotiable part of your day. Ideally, schedule it into your appointment book the way you would an important meeting or social event. Set the time for it and then make no excuses about keeping your exercise "appointment."

What you'll find is that the more you exercise, the better you'll feel and the more addictive it will become. Soon you won't want to miss your exercise sessions because you'll notice a dip in your energy or stamina when you back off for too long.

You need to place a HIGH PRIORITY on it and schedule your day around the exercise, not the other way that most people do. This way it will get done and you will serve as a powerful example to those who you love.

When it comes to exercise, there's no time like the present. Don't wait another day to get your program started.

And please don't use your age as an excuse either, because no matter what your age, exercise can provide enormous benefits for your health.

If you happen to be over 40, though, it's especially important to either start or step up your exercise program. This is the time of life when your physical strength, stamina, balance and flexibility start to decline, and exercise can help to counteract that dramatically.

It really is that powerful.

[+] Sources and References