We all know that exercise is good for health and that it helps us in many ways to lead a better life. It makes us happy, helps with maintaining body weight, and thus keeps many diseases at bay, strengthens our bones and muscles, improves our focus, and also helps us sleep better. That is enough incentive for anyone to exercise, one would think; but, just in case you wanted more, here is another reason why should exercise. New research suggests that exercise can increase your life span. And in fact, it is so, even if you start exercising later in your life!
The ‘Never Too Late’ message
A team of researchers studied the effect that can exercise can have on the mortality of people, with participants aged between 40 and 79 years old. They aimed to look at the impact of the fluctuating physical activity levels, and the link to mortality. Overall, the participants were studied on various factors over a median period of 12.5 years, including their lifestyle, education, social class, and many other factors.
Of the 14,599 people who were part of the study, 3148 people died, and when the researchers correlated the complete data sets from all participants, they could see there is a link between the level of exercise and mortality rate. However, what was more interesting to the researchers was the fact, even if someone who was sedentary for a long while, decided to start exercising, the person still was seen to get the benefit of a greater life span.
In other words, it meant that the mortality rates were necessarily linked to their past activity or lifestyle, and that exercise provided mortality benefits, even when people got into a little late in life. What it means is that people now no longer, really, have an excuse not to exercise, blaming the past. Also, it means that if life has given you a rude shock by way of some diseases like diabetes, cancer, or cardiovascular diseases, you still can start your exercise and gain the benefit of a longer life, as compared to sitting sedentary.
So, the message is clear – It is never too late. Please start exercising, whatever age you are, and reap the benefits, so that you can live longer, healthier, and happier too.
Here are a few tips to get you going, so that you no longer can make excuses for not exercising.
1. Fix a routine, after checking with your doctor, (especially if you have any specific conditions), on time and the kind of exercise to be done. For, example, for people with some health conditions, a simple walk may be suggested, while others can cycle, or play an active sport, or swim, etc. Yoga and breathing exercises could be an option that can be beneficial for all.
2. Try to join some neighborhood community or club, where such activities can be done in groups, so you gave the added benefit of socializing as an incentive, to keep going. You may also exchange notes, and keep some ‘targets’ with each other to make it more interesting.
3. Keep track of the health parameters, and follow the check-up schedule and make changes or variations to the exercise schedule, if required.
4. Exercise while watching TV shows, if possible, if you find that you don’t get any other time.
5. Get professional help initially, if required, to get you going and get into a schedule. So, you may look at hiring a Yoga instructor or a physical trainer for a short while to get going, and then follow-up. Reward yourself when you stick to agreed goals and achieve them. You may also ask someone close to keep a watch and berate you if you fail in doing so.