May 9, 2012

Exercise your way to Longevity

If you are looking for the fountain of youth, you won’t find it in the latest trendy diet. There’s no pill to swallow or simple formula to follow that will make you live longer. There is something you can do, however, to increase the likelihood of a long, healthy life. It’s something that requires some effort and it’s something you’ve heard of plenty of times before: exercise.  Despite our attempts to find a new technology to do it for us, the only tried and true method to achieving longevity is to get off the couch and move. Doing so improves our disposition, boosts our long-term health, puts us on steadier financial ground – and adds years to our life.
Exercise 1

Psychological Benefits Exercise releases endorphins, natural substances in the body that make us feel better. Studies show that something as simple as getting out of the house and taking a walk can reduce stress and create a sense of greater well-being. Since stress can affect the heart and other systems, reducing it not only makes us happier but helps us stay healthier. The trick is to find an activity we enjoy, not to look at exercise as some boring or exhausting requirement.

Long-Term Health People who make a fitness regime part of their weekly routine reap the benefits now and over their lifetime.  Making the effort to exercise regularly pays off by helping to maintain an appropriate weight. For many people, it can help keep blood pressure at healthy levels. It also builds muscle tone and keeps those muscles functioning as well as they can, something that keeps us active as we age. Older people find they keep their sense of balance and independence longer when they make basic fitness part of their life.

Financial Health It goes without saying that someone who is healthy will save on medical bills. The healthier you are, the more you can keep your medical expenses focused on preventative care rather than on more expensive procedures or care for chronic or debilitating conditions. Also, life insurance companies reward their healthiest customers with cheaper premiums. What’s more, staying healthy allows you to continue working and generating income later into life.

Exercise 3

Biological Payoff Scientists have determined how exercise promotes longevity on a cellular level.  They have found that exercise encourages the body to get rid of old or malformed proteins and other cellular components. This process is called autophagy, or “self-eating.” Autophagosomes gather around aging cellular components to eliminate them. Scientists say these components are old mitochondria, part of the cell where glucose and oxygen work together to release energy. Old mitochondria often create byproducts called free radicals; molecules that scientists believe encourage aging. Getting rid of old mitochondria will reduce these free radicals, the theory goes, and thereby slow down aging.

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre looked at autophagy in genetically altered mice as they exercised on a treadmill. They found the autophagosomes increased in the muscles. The researchers then studied mice altered so their autophagosomes could not increase this way with exercise. When the scientists compared the two groups of mice, they found those whose autophagosomes had increased had more endurance and could take up more sugar into their blood. Over time, autophagy also helped prevent diabetes in the mice.

Juan Ponce de Leon may have thought he’d found the easy answer to longevity in a simple fountain, but for the rest of us, it takes a little effort.  The good news is that by finding some kind of physical activity that we enjoy and making it part of our weekly routine, we can feel better now and look forward to staying as healthy as possible into our golden years.

By-line Written by Rachel Oda on behalf of the team at secureinsurancequotes, who encourage their clients to protect their health with an affordable and appropriate health insurance plan.



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