Age well

There is no reason to not be active. I don’t even mean don’t be sedentary. Please don’t be sedentary. I mean exercise. Yes, be active and keep moving. We are meant to move. Especially if you are interested in aging well. I bet you are because who wants to age badly? Do you want to improve your health span? The length of time you spend healthy and independent? If you said yes – then exercise.

This week one of my favourite runners died of prostate cancer. Ed Whitlock, was an amazing, record-breaking, runner he died a week after his 86th birthday. It is too bad that Ed is no longer running, but he lived well and at home, running right up to the last few days. Four months ago he ran a 3:56 marathon, a new record for the over 85 category. That is aging well. He might not have done everything right, but he didn’t stop exercising.

There have been a few new studies that highlight the diverse benefits of exercise. We know that moving throughout the day keeps us healthy, but exercise is important too!

The European Society of Cardiology released the results of a study of more than 5,000 people over 55 years old that were followed for 15 years. What did they find? Being physically active is more important than your weight.

“Physical activity is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease regardless of age or BMI” 

Body Mass Index (BMI) isn’t the best measure of health, but it is one tool and we know that being overweight is a risk for cardiovascular disease, but being physically active is protective. Being healthy and physically active is critical for health regardless of your weight.

Another smaller study published in Finland this week showed that postmenopausal women with mild knee osteoarthritis proved once again that high levels of physical activity improved cartilage. Yes, moving improves cartilage health in people that normally would be less likely to exercise. 

“Exercise is an important part of osteoarthritis treatment and maintaining cartilage health”

Want one more reason to get moving at any age? The American Heart Association has recently shown that exercise in middle age prevents the loss of collateral blood vessels in your brain. This may lessen the severity of strokes later on. Or maybe prevent them in the first place?  Other studies have shown that exercise after a stroke can improve brain function.

Why wait? Get moving now. It is fun and improves your health span. It is never too late (or too early) to start for a lifetime of benefits.

Change your mind, change your health,

Shayla

For those interested in how the fasting is going you can read about Day 1  here.

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