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Exercise Away the Years
Henry S Lodge, MD posted:
We all grew up thinking of exercise as sweating in gym class, and then, as the world evolved, spandex. But exercise plays a much bigger role in your health than you may know. Turns out exercise controls health dials throughout your body. Not simply in your muscles, but in your arteries, heart, liver, lungs -- the list goes on.
When you push yourself hard enough to sweat you grow new cells -- better cells. And so you get functionally younger. There are 70-year-old men and women out there with the hearts, lungs, and muscles of 30-year-olds. And there's nothing special about them, except that they show up to exercise on a regular basis, and take it seriously when they do.

Chris Crowley, the co-author of Younger Next Year , first came to me as a patient at 65. He was heading into retirement, overweight and out of shape. After we talked about the life-changing power of exercise, he jumped into an exercise program with both feet, and more importantly, he stuck with it. Five years later, I took him into the lab and put him on the treadmill. At age 70, he scored among the fittest 10% of American men -- but in the 40-45 age range! Chris has kept up the hard work. And now, at 78, he bikes 50, sometimes 100 miles in the Rockies, travels, lectures, laughs, and loves his life.

Joy Johnson is another success story I know. Never much of an athlete in school, Joy started running later in life. At age 80, she won her category in the New York City Marathon. But she wasn't finished. She didn't like her time and felt she could do better. So she stepped up her training program. At 81, she won her category again and knocked almost an hour off her previous time.

Chris and Joy don't have any genetic advantages over you or anyone else. They just stepped up to the plate and made the decision to grow younger.

How much you exercise and what kinds of exercise you do are important. But what's most important is that you make the choice right now between settling for "normal" aging, or getting younger in the upcoming years.

What are your thoughts on exercise and aging? Do you currently exercise? Why or why not?
brunosbud responded:
Welcome to webmd, Dr. Lodge. Excellent first topic you've chosen, aging and exercise.

I believe that exercise is more critical and essential for proper functioning of our bodies, more today than ever before, for several reasons but I'll mention a couple.

The relationship between exercise and blood glucose control. Processed food is so calorically dense that it may necessitate more than one one exercise session per day. By opting to spread my "exercise" throughout the day (I take short walks after meals), my A1C has sufficiently fallen so that I only have to spot test blood sugar once a week, now.

The relationship between exercise and sleep.
Wouldn't it be interesting if it was determined that the root cause of uncontrolled weight gain was related to malfunction of our immune system. Or, that insulin resistance was related to chronic anemia. If that were the case, then the spotlight on weight control would dramatically shift towards sleep quality...

And, what's the best way to insure a good night's rest (& prevention of sleep apnea)?

Sex (or sexercise) and exercise

The key to good health (& weight loss) is not a mystery. It's exercise, plain and simple...
PetuniaPea responded:
I've had a hard time in the past "making time" for exercise, so I recently made a goal for myself: A minimum of 20 minutes a day. It's not that much time, and, if I have more time on a particular day, I'll exercise longer. My problem was setting unreasonable goals, like an hour a day, then when I couldn't maintain that, I would just give up completely.

However, I'm active for most of the day, doing things on my feet, so that counts for something, doesn't it? Housework (sometimes intense cleaning!), dishwashing, cooking, errands, running up and down the stairs to get to different places in the house, shopping, etc.

But I knew I had to make time for "official" exercising. So now those 20 minutes or more are spent doing aerobics, dancing, yoga, strength training, and/or walking.

Not only does exercising turn back the clock, but also a healtful diet of fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes! Sugar makes the clock go forward faster, so beware!
jis4judy responded:
Yes Dr Lodge
I exercise nearly everyday I have been exerciseing with daily walks for a long time however it wasn;t until I took control of my eating that I began to get younger feelings .
I have allways exercised in some way just now it is more deliberate . about 9 ish years ago I started a nutrition quest along with my exercise added weight lifting as I went along I am still on plan and doing great I am one of those 70 year olds you were talking about that feels younger Had my physical last week and my Cholesteral numbers were pretty awsome
total 179 HDL 70 LDL 99 Triglyserides 50
thats what nutrition and exercise can do together
Hugs Judy:)
Sw 247 Cw 149ish

remember the gold isn;t in the prize it is in the journey!
life may not be the party we expected but while we are here we may as well dance!
BigDaddyMatty responded:
Hi Henry;

My choice of exercise is daily walks (about 75-80 minutes in length) which I have been doing for the past 25 years.

For the past 54 days I have been on a new exercise/nutrition program. I walk 90-100 minutes at lunch and another 75-80 minutes at night. I also stop midway on the noontime walk to do leg lifts and some push-ups. I started this program to help my chronically injured left knee by losing weight.

It made for truly exhausting days but the weight has steadily come off and my body is adapting to the daily rigor. On 01/01/2013 I hope to be at my target weight. At that time I will replace the evening walk with strength training and stretching. I am also going to start riding my bike again.

I honestly feel a lot younger then I did 54 days ago. The diet and exercise have been very good thus far. I think diet, exercise, stretching and spiritual nourishment can have a profound impact on one's health and aging.

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