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Top Articles for Exercise, Longevity and Anti-Aging

Exercise and a Longer Life


Updated April 18, 2011

Lots of exercise recommendations are out there. While many are good, most are designed to help athletes reach peak performance or to help people lose weight. When it comes to exercising for longevity, things get a bit muddy. Is it better to focus on your heart, bones or muscles? Is there an age when the risks of exercise outweigh the benefits? These articles look into some research and other ideas to help you exercise for a longer life.

Add 9 Years and Have Younger DNA

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Turns out that exercise can get deep in your body, even into your DNA. Researchers have found that people who exercise have younger DNA -- by up to 9 years. That is an incredible benefit. So exercising may do more than help prevent illness; it may actually make you younger.

Walk Away Metabolic Syndrome

Walking on Treadmill
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Metabolic syndrome is a fancy name that means someone is headed for lots of trouble. The typical person with metabolic syndrome is overweight, has high cholesterol and a host of other problems. A person with metabolic syndrome is at high risk for heart disease and diabetes. The good news is that taking control of your lifestyle can really help. One change that helps -- walking. Getting a bit of daily walking can derail metabolic syndrome and put a person on a path toward greater health.

Exercise, Life Expectancy and Longevity

Man Doing Yoga
Caroline Woodham / Getty Images

We're not just about living longer, we want to live longer AND feel good doing. A 65-year-old who exercises regularly can expect to live without any disabilities until 83 (add in a healthy diet and that number can increase even more). So live long and live well by exercising.

Hidden Benefits of Exercise

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You probably already know that exercise is good for your heart and can help keep the weight off -- but did you know it was good for sex? How about mood? Sleep? There are tons of benefits of exercise that go way beyond longevity and staying healthy. Exercise will help you feel great today and everyday. So start exercising and pay attention to these hidden benefits to keep yourself motivated.

Make Exercise Fun

Make Exercise Fun
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So you're convinced that exercise is a good thing and you know you need to do it at least 3 hours a week. Now is the most important part -- find someway to get yourself excited about exercise. Anything you are planning to do for 3 hours a week needs to be fun. You need to look forward to exercise. Sit down and brainstorm ways to work up a sweat and have a good time doing so. These ideas can help.

Learn to Love Exercise

Happy Older Woman Exercising
Andersen Ross / Getty Images
If you are a true beginner to exercise, it is going to take a while to make exercise a habit. You are going to need to start small and build up strength and endurance. Forget everything you read (except this, of course) and what people tell you. The most important thing is to work on building exercise into your weekly routine. If you can do that, everything else will follow. Set aside time for exercise and physical activity and don't let anything stand in your way. After a month or two, you'll be loving exercise (really, you will -- just give it a try).

Boost the Benefit - Add 14 More Years

Glass of Red Wine
Photodisc / Getty Images
Exercise is good, but if you can combine it with a few other behaviors you can really boost the benefit. People who don't smoke, eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and have 1 to 2 drinks of alcohol a day live 14 years longer than people who don't do those things. An after work-out banana, a double serving of vegetables and a glass of wine. These are simple pleasures that are healthy and anti-aging.

Your Brain on Exercise - for the 85+ Crowd

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At 85, you may think that you have no need to start exercise -- this is wrong. Not only will exercsie help with balance and flexibility, it will actually help keep your brain healthy. So if you (or your parents) are in the 85-ish crowd, be sure to keep on exercising. Your brain will be happier, healthier and younger.

Stroke Risk and Physical Activity

Blood Pressure Device
Plush Studios / Getty Images
Speaking of brains, a stroke is one of the most debilitating and life threatening things that can happen. In a stroke, the blood vessels rupture in the brain and cause damage such as lose of the ability to speak and problems moving. Prevent strokes by watching your blood pressure and keeping your blood vessels healthy through (you guessed it) exercise.

Lifestyle Changes Benefit Middle Aged

Middle Aged Man Exercising
Andersen Ross / Getty Images
I've talked to a lot of people in their 50s and 60s who think there is no point in starting a healthy lifestyle now. They are overweight and have unhealthy diets. They think the damage is done. The "why bother" attitude is dead wrong. Making lifestyle changes in a person's middle ages can have tremendous benefit. Give these changes a month and see if you don't start feeling better. Focus on the immediate benefits like better sleep, more energy and an improved mood.

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