“In order to be wealthy, you must be healthy”
How can I stop from getting older?
Frank Shearer 100 years young National Geographic Nov. 2005
The question should not be how to stop the inevitable but how to age gracefully! It is inevitable as we come into this world we come a step closer to the end each day, but how we get to the end of the road can be much different for each individual as we age. The quality of life is much more important than the quantity of life many times, if you live to 80,90,100 but are immobile that is much different than living a healthy active life of independence. Two different studies of aging has showed that a small increase of 11-22 pounds over several years, individuals were three times more likely to develop heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Exercise can also help with existing aliments or debilitating diseases such as arthritis. Exercise can reduce symptoms or severity of arthritis and osteoarthritis (1 out of 6 Americans have arthritis) strong muscles act as shock absorbers for the joints. Stronger muscles will take the pressure off joints during activities such as walking and going up/down stairs.
The rate of muscle declines rapidly as we age without performing exercise, thus contributing to more fat/weight gain contributing to lose of strength and muscles/tendons/ ligaments getting tight contributing to inflexibility. Sure we cannot stop the aging clock but it has been shown to be dramatically slowed and not as detrimental to living through consistent, healthy eating and exercise. As we age, the heart's peak capacity to pump blood declines at about 5-10% a year, our blood vessels begin to stiffen and blood becomes thicker which will translate into less ability to pump blood through the vessels as we age. That is why it is very easy for a non-exercising individual to become very winded with moderate moving around. A diminished capacity to pump oxygen makes it harder to get oxygen to organs of the body.
The U.S. National Institute on Aging studied several regions of the world were people live significantly longer. Sardinia Italy, where men reach age 100 at an amazing rate and Okinawa, Japan some of the longest lived in the world. Frank Shearer 100 years old of Washington State still water skis, Linda Loma of C.A. still drives and lives actively. The most common traits of all world regions were as follows; don’t smoke, put family first, be active every day, keep socially engaged, eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains! The majority of research substantiates that many of the detrimental changes of aging are contributed in a large part to disuse! Challenge your mind, reading etc., being active daily. Remember you may not look like or move like you were 20 but you sure can live a better quality of life through healthy eating and exercise!
By: J.D. Reber M.S. & B.S. Exercise Science, CSCS & NASM- CFT
References: National Geographic, Nov. 2005
Harvard Medical School, Vol 10, #5, Dec 2005
Remember, eat healthy and live wealthy!