Exercise is extremely important to increasing the quality of our lives. It helps to improve out immune systems so when we do get sick, we are better able to fight off the disease or sickness. Daily or weekly workouts also increase our oxygen supply to our bodies and organs. The chemicals released into our brains also make us generally feel better, than if we did nothing.
But, does it really extend our lives any significant amount?
Surprisingly, there are studies that show it helps, but not to the degree you would generally think.
The old exercise adage of moving for at least 30 minutes a day to a point that elevates your cardiovascular system applies significantly. But exercising to the extreme each day – 90 minutes of high intensity workouts, can possibly be detrimental to life extension.
One study watched a large number of people that walked each day. The best information derived from this study was that reaching the equivalent of 7000-10,000 steps was the optimal place for maximum benefit. Anything over 10,000 did not statistically improve health or living longer.
I strongly suspect that eating properly each day probably provides as much, if not greater benefit to living a longer, healthier life. There are studies that have shown that the lack of proper nutrition at an early age can effect your health the rest of your life. Although you can improve your health later in life, the long term effects of your youth will effect you long term.
The most interesting thing coming from these various studies around the world, is that you might only be extending your life by 2-5 years – 7 at most. But, your improved health would most definitely make a difference in your final years, when it comes to lifestyle.
When I am 85 years old, I would rather be somewhat active and moving around up till the end, rather than be in very poor health, and restricted to a bed or chair for 5 years.
So let’s get out, eat right, and get in your 30+ minutes a day. Walk, dance, ride a bike, join a gym — GET MOVING!