It's difficult in this age of too-much-advice-from-too-many-experts to know how to exercise smart. Unless you and your spouse are truly motivated to exercise for the right reasons, you won't do it. Here are four reasons why you and your spouse should be exercising:
1. We living longer.
The advancements of modern medicine, along with other factors, have combined to keep us alive longer. With the aging of our Baby Boom generation, the senior population is growing ever larger. Currently, 31 million people, or 12 percent of the total U.S. population, are aged 65 and older. The Census Bureau anticipates that 62 million people, or almost one in five Americans, will be aged 65 and older by 2025. And by 2045, the elderly population is expected to reach 77 million.
Sadly, only 8 percent of American adults currently exercise at recommended levels. This is unfortunate because most chronic diseases and disabilities develop insidiously over decades and are preventable by staying physically fit. As it relates to quality of life in the later years, the benefits of exercise are simply too great to miss out on.
2. Just because you or your spouse is not overweight, does not mean the two of you are healthy.
There's a big difference between fitness and thinness. Recent studies at Yale University School of Medicine, show that even lean and healthy looking people are showing a higher incidence of fat buildup in their muscle. Fat builds in the muscle when muscle decreases. Far too many people today have lost their strength, having bought into the myth that getting to a certain weight on the scale means their healthy. Health has to do with far more than calories consumed. The only way to shrink intramuscular fat is to build and maintain muscle.
Why is decreasing muscle fat so important? Because high body fat has been implicated in the increased prevalence of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes that is rapidly rising in America. A recent British study showed that rigorous workouts only lasting a few minutes helps prevent diabetes by helping to control blood sugar. This exciting new research, published in the journal BioMed Central Endocrine Disorders, suggests that people unable to exercise (for the suggested 30-minutes a day or several hours per week) can still benefit from exercise, by doing short bursts of vigorous high intensity exercise. They discovered that when doing tense muscle contractions during vigorous exercise, insulin's ability to clear glucose out of the bloodstream is greatly enhanced.
3. Exercise improves memory, concentration and brain function.
Because we are living longer there is a great emphasis today on brain health. Although exercise is usually promoted for weight loss and better heart health, there is growing evidence that regular physical activity helps ward off mental declines as people age. Researchers found that the more a person exercised, the greater the protection for the brain. People with the highest activity levels were half as likely as inactive individuals to develop Alzheimer's, and were around 40 percent less likely to suffer any dementia or mental impairment, according to recent research.
According to Dr. Daniel Anen, author of the bestselling book Change Your Brain, Change Your Llife, as it pertains to your brain, exercise is literally the fountain of youth. Exercise consistently and you will change your brain. When you exercise, you think better, concentrate better, and your memory will be better. Exercise boosts blood flow to the brain and boosts growth factors in the brain that actually helps grow neurons!
4. Exercise is the best and least expensive way to look and feel young.
One of the most widely publicized anti-aging hormones is human growth hormone (HGH). HGH is renowned for its ability to stimulate muscle development, bone growth and fuel immune activity while switching your body into a potent fat burning machine—your body produces it naturally too. HGH provides many other benefits as well, such as enhancing skin repair (reducing wrinkling), restoring internal organs that have atrophied with age and reversing cognitive deterioration.
After age 20, our natural production of Human Growth Hormone begins to decline at an average rate of 14 percent per decade. However, strength building exercise that's done at high intensity for short periods of time, greatly enhances HGH secretion, and is the best way to look and feel younger.
The best way to maximize HGH secretion is to: (a) exercise at high intensity: 80-100 percent maximum effort, and (b) exercise for a short duration: 5-15 minutes. Long duration exercise enhances the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which has a catabolic effect on the body. Many people today are over-exercising, which can severely dampen their weight loss, energy levels and immune function.
So now that you know it's likely you'll be living longer, why not fight off body fat, mental declines and type 2 diabetes, and enjoy looking and feeling younger than you are? Sit down with your spouse and work out a schedule to add exercise back into your daily routine. It’s time to make the change.
Former NFL player Dave Hubbard, known today as America's Fitness Coach, has been lecturing on how to Get Fit For Life for over 20 years. Learn more at www.Fit10.com.