Exercise And Longevity
The human body is like a machine in many respects – it needs fuel - that is, food. To convert that fuel into energy, it needs oxygen – just like a fire. We've covered the importance of correct nutrition elsewhere, but the primary fuel is in the form of calories – sugars, or fats which the liver turns into that fuel. We take in oxygen through our lungs, and the heart circulates it in our bloodstream. And that's where exercise is important for longevity - in particular, cardiovascular exercise – working the heart and lungs to keep them in good condition.

If the body is running in peak condition, then longevity is increased. Take an automobile, or a sewing machine. What happens if you don't use them regularly for what they were designed to do? Yes, they seize up, and the longer they are neglected, then the stiffer they become.

Sit on a chair for half an hour, and get up suddenly. What happens? You may feel faint (don't try it)! Feeling faint is a sign of an out of condition cardiovascular system.

The more you neglect your body's performance, then the worse it gets – joint stiffen and become painful as you age; then, that makes exercise painful and difficult. Use it or lose it – you've heard that before? It's true.

Do you think you'll live along time if you have a sendentary job and don't bother with exercise? No, you'll lower your life expectancy and your quality of life will suffer too.

So, what kinds of exercise are good for you, your cardiovascular system and increased lifespan?

There's plenty to choose from – swimming, walking briskly, jogging are easy to do. You need to do have at 20 minutes brisk exercise at least three times a week, and you don't need a gym. The local swimming pool is not expensive, and it's probably one of the best all round exercises. Whichever you choose, it is important to get yourself 'panting'. Before you start, read our Disclaimer Page, and make sure you consult your physician.

There's one more exercise that is natural, needn't cost much (if anything), and can be done at home. If done properly, building up slowly and then giving it twenty minutes three times a week, you will work wonders on your cardiovascular system. It's sex. Yes. One of the best natural exercises there is. And, it's good for relieving stress and improving mood. Unfortunately, this may not be a good move if you have certain heart or other problems, so once again, check with your physician first.

If you settle on a combination of these exercises, then you'll markedly improve the condition of your body and improve your longevity. Lower stress contributes to improved longevity health and exercise releases endorphins in the brain – they are 'feel good' hormones. When you exercise, though, do warm up gently for a few minutes so your ligaments and muscles don't get a sudden surprise. 'Warm down' for ten minutes afterwards. 'Warming down' is slower, gentler exercising. It clears lactic acid and other by-products of your workout from your muscles. Remember to drink water too, filtered if possible.

In combination, good food and proper exercise will keep your body ticking over smoothly, and optimise your life expectancy. We can't choose the genes we're born with, but we can surely look after our bodies, and thereby give ourselves the best opportunity for longevity health.  
Kasia Wojsiat is a respected chiropractor in nearby Los Gatos. She embraces using preventative medicine and natural products in her practice. Please send her an email if you have any questions pertaining to longevity and health.
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