In a world of fighting to keep that youthful look, we spend billions of dollars a year on creams, pills, shots, machines, and surgeries to turn back Father Time. Without question, the most efficient and cost-effective way to extend and lead a healthy life is by exercising. Doctors, researchers, and scientists have long claimed that exercise works like a miracle drug. Now they have proof. Exercise has been proven to extend lifespan by as much as five years. Five years…that could mean the difference in seeing grandkids’ graduations, ball games, dance recitals, and weddings. Just as important as extending our life is the quality of life one lives when they exercise regularly. Recent research links exercise to less depression, better memory, and quicker learning. The strongest evidence that exercise is key to keeping youthful vigor came from long-term studies of heart disease where it consistently showed that people who worked out regularly had fewer heart attacks and strokes than those that live sedentary lives. To stay young, you have to keep your cells young. Getting physically active can go a long way toward keeping cells young, too.
No matter how busy you are, you can turn fitness into an everyday lifestyle. Here are a few ways to motivate yourself to exercise. Exercising for eventual health benefits is a worthy pursuit, but can also fail to motivate many people caught up in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. Think of the immediate effects such as a boost in energy and mood, improved sleep or just an increase in productivity in our lives. Find something you like that doesn’t feel like punishment. While more strenuous workouts will burn more calories and get better results in short-term, it can also be the hardest routine to stick with. Remember we are looking for lifestyle changes rather than a roller coaster ride of ups and downs with our fitness. Make exercise non-negotiable. It can be triggered by our morning alarm, a specific time of day, or a daily date with a friend to meet at the gym or for a walk.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention advise most adults to do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week and some form of resistance training for our muscles twice-weekly. That means out of 168 hours we have in a week, to spend only three of those doing some form of physical activity can lead to benefits that are more rewarding than most things we would do in those three hours. So while we continue to pursue the inevitable—the hunt for the fountain of youth—there’s comfort to be had in the fact that exercise is an antiaging strategy with a lot of science to support it. And it’s available to you, for free, no matter where you live or how old you may be.