Longevity & Good Health.. But Not By Diet Alone

Man and Woman Stretching

It's not surprising that the older people get the longer they would like to stick around. Unfortunately in our youth, some of the most important aspects of life just don't seem to be all that important at the time. But regardless of your age, in addition to luck, eating right, having the right genes, not smoking, drinking responsibly and seeking regular medical care, longevity is still a matter of "move it" or "lose it". So, a key component that we can all do something about is to engage in regular activities for:

Flexibility Training - Stretching exercises are an excellent way to warm up and cool down both before and after resistance or endurance training. Yoga classes are a good way to start and are often offered free at recreational departments or social centers. If not, you can learn to stretch slowly at home while you relax.

Balance Exercises - These can start with a scene out of a police officer's sobriety test. While sitting in a chair, lift you arms, close your eyes and slowly touch your nose with a finger; or while holding on to the kitchen counter, practice standing on one foot until you can do this routinely without holding on; or walk a straight line with your head facing forward. As you feel more comfortable with your balance, you can increase the difficulty of each.

Strength Building - Enhancing muscle mass not only helps the body burn calories but preserves bone density, but you don't have to shell out big bucks for a gym membership. Resistance exercises can involve body-weight routines like push-ups or more traditional lifting of household items like an empty milk jug filled with sand or water.

Endurance Training - Walking, jogging, biking, skiing, racquet sports, rowing, aerobic dancing, swimming and even playing golf, as long as you walk, are excellent sources of endurance exercise.

Researchers today are well aware of the importance of exercise and not just for looking good when summer comes around. So, if you are old enough to rust, it is time to engage in routine activities. A concept that should come of little surprise to the scientific community as Hippocrates (the Father of Modern Medicine) concluded more than 2,400 years ago, "That which is used develops; that which is not wastes away."


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