Lack of exercise is the fourth leading risk factor for premature death
(NaturalHealth365) At first glimpse, there would seem to be nothing inherently dangerous about sitting in a chair or sofa, watching TV or working on a laptop – right? But, appearances can be deceiving – especially if you don’t exercise on a regular basis.
Sitting for many consecutive hours a day, unrelieved by physical activity, constitutes a sedentary lifestyle – and the associated health risks are grave. In 2014, the World Health Organization released a list of the five main causes of premature death worldwide. Shockingly, lack of exercise ranked fourth – right behind high blood pressure, smoking, and elevated blood sugar.
The truth is: when it comes to cutting life expectancy, lack of exercise is more of a threat than being overweight or obese – and may account for close to 10 percent of all premature deaths. Fortunately, the formula can be reversed.
The “heart” of the matter: Exercise helps protect against cardiovascular disease and diabetes
Cardiorespiratory health – the efficient functioning of the heart and lungs — is (unsurprisingly) linked to improved health and longevity. According to researchers, there is no pharmaceutical medication on the planet more effective than cardiorespiratory fitness in reducing the risk of chronic disease and death – quite a ringing endorsement for exercise.
Simply put, regular physical activity improves cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, inflammation, glucose and insulin metabolism, endothelial function, cerebral blood flow and lipids in the blood. Getting sufficient exercise can reduce risk of heart attack by a substantial 30 percent – and several studies have shown that exercise can benefit existing cardiovascular disease.
Note: it’s best to consult with a trusted, medical doctor – before starting an exercise program – especially if you have medical issues.
Did you know? The liver is the most important detoxifying organ in the body. When the liver can’t effectively neutralize and dispose of toxins, they accumulate in the body. Two essential nutrients for healthy liver function are milk thistle and glutathione. These two ingredients - plus much more – are now available in an advanced liver support formula. Click here to learn more.
Regular exercise also protects against diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity and controlling blood sugar, blood pressure and levels of fats in the blood. Studies have shown that combining physical activity with weight loss can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by an astounding 58 percent in high-risk groups.
Exercise not only helps prevent diabetes, but can help reverse it. Studies show that increasing physical activity (with calorie restriction) can lead to partial or complete remission of diabetes in over 10 percent of patients within one year.
Exercise helps to maintain brainpower and memory – while reducing the risk of dementia
Soaring rates of neurodegenerative disease have caused researchers to race to discover effective methods of prevention. And their studies suggest that exercise could be among the keys to protecting against Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Researchers know that exercise prevents cognitive decline and protects neurological health – and they even know some of the reasons why.
Physical activity improves the transmission of information between nerve cells, while increasing levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor – an essential signaling protein that helps to regulate brain plasticity. (Plasticity is the ability of the brain to modify its connections and adapt to experience).
In addition, regular physical exercise improves the clearance in the brain of amyloid-beta, a protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease. One study showed that aerobic exercise – such as running, swimming, walking or dancing – increased production of BDNF in the hippocampus, the section of the brain involved with learning and episodic memory.
Aerobic exercise also mitigates brain shrinkage, the loss of brain volume that occurs with age.
Not only is exercise beneficial later in life – but in young adulthood as well. In a study of over 2,700 individuals aged 18 to 30 years, researchers found an association between aerobic fitness and better verbal memory in middle age.
In a review published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia in 2015, the authors reported that middle-aged participants who engaged in recreational physical activity were less likely to develop dementia 28 years later, compared with those who were less active.
And, one study showed that progressive muscle training in aged humans not only caused improvements in memory capacity – but actually increased the size of the hippocampus.
Exercise protects our DNA and mitochondria
Other research has shown the ways in which exercise promotes health at a cellular level.
Physical activity protects cell DNA against oxidative damage, while helping to rejuvenate mitochondria, the all-important “battery pack” of our cells. One study showed that resistance exercise decreased oxidative DNA damage in aging individuals, while promoting mitochondrial biogenesis. In other words, exercise enhanced the production of new mitochondria in muscle and brain tissue.
And, the act of exercising activates an enzyme called AMPK, or adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase – which promotes the burning of fats and glucose.
Exercise can even benefit the “friendly” gut bacteria that maintain health. Animal studies have shown that physical activity improves the diversity and balance of the microbes living in the digestive tract. And a healthy balance of intestinal microbiota may help to maintain healthy weight – thereby helping to protect against obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and a related constellation of disorders.
Exercise combats diseases related to aging
One of the most heartening features of exercise is the beneficial effect it can have later in life, when maintaining muscle strength and functional capacity pays off in a decreased risk of disease and disability.
Regular physical activity helps to ward off sarcopenia – the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength – as well as osteoporosis, defined by low bone mass and greater fracture risk. Sarcopenia and osteoporosis not only increase the risk of broken bones and falls, but are associated with decreased mobility, frailty and a higher risk of death.
Once again, aerobic exercise and resistance training can come to the rescue by Increasing bone mass and muscular strength – along with balance, coordination and mobility. Reviews of literature have revealed a consensus: exercise is the single natural intervention that can consistently improve sarcopenia in older adults.
Note: It’s not necessary to bench press, pedal your bicycle into the next county or slice through the water like an Olympic swimmer to obtain benefits from exercise – especially if you are of mature years. Studies have shown that even modest exercise – as little as 75 minutes of brisk walking a week – can help prolong life.
So, what are you waiting for? Get moving and help yourself to create a longer, healthier life.
Sources for this article include:
Cancer & Heart Disease
NaturalHealth365 is a premium source of trending and popular health-related news, science, testimony & research articles on the most up to date and relevant natural health information. The Food & Nutrition articles found herein are meant to inform and advise our site visitors on eating healthy, nutritious foods and safely using supplements and vitamins to achieve optimal health.
Join thousands of daily visitors staying informed and involved on Natural Health 365! We seek out scientific solutions with proven results and it is our mission to keep you up to date on the latest information! Articles range in topic from the causes of cancer, cancer-fighting foods, to natural cancer treatments, cancer prevention & specific research-backed information on Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, etc. We also write extensively on Heart Disease because it is accounts for 25% of all deaths in the United States – that’s one in four! We take an in depth look at the symptoms of heart disease, the causes and treatment of high blood pressure, benefits of CoQ10 and healthy, natural ways to unclog arteries.
Read Some of Our Most Popular Articles
Grape Seed Extract More Effective than Chemotherapy, Olive Oil is AWESOME, Store Bought Almond Milk is Basically Just Sugar Water, Antioxidants, Cancer & Blueberries.
More Food & Nutrition Articles
Fresh Organic Produce Fights Cancer, Susan G. Komen on Organic Foods, Hemp Seeds for Inflammation, Pau D’Arco For Improved Immunity
In addition to publishing articles on cutting edge natural cancer treatments and heart disease prevention, we also aim to connect healthy lifestyles, diets and balanced consumption of dietary supplements to long-lasting cancer-free health and adding happy years to your life. For example, did you know that the amount of emotional stress in your life can contribute to your risk of cancer? Or that raw, expeller-pressed olive oil has cancer fighting qualities? Perhaps you didn’t know that Fresh Organic Produce has been found to have higher concentrations of key, cancer-fighting anti-oxidants and vitamins than conventional produce? You can find all of that information and more right here on Natural Health 365.
Join Our Email List
Each day, visitors sign up for our weekly informative news sent directly to their email or RSS feed agregator. We send out three weekly emails keeping you informed and involved on the latest Natural Health News, information about our FREE SHOWS and updates on your favorite topics including Food & Nutrition, Cancer & Heart Disease, Vaccines & Autism, & – of course – GMOs & Dangerous Chemicals!
You can also check out our VIP member area, The Inner Circle, where you get access to thousands of recorded interview (audio/video), pod casts, & literature by some of the worlds foremost experts on Natural Health and Treatments that could save you thousands! Learn how to REVERSE disease without the use of toxic and expensive medications.
Natural Health 365 also is a venue for webinars on various topics, has a flourishing e-commerce store where you can purchase vitamins, pro biotics, supplements and unique products such as Grazing Goat Whey Protein.
Grazing Goat Whey Protein™ is formulated exclusively for the health-conscious consumer looking for the finest whey protein nutritional supplement on the planet.* Best of all, this goat whey protein comes from goats that graze – 365 days per year – on pesticide and chemical free pastures. No hormones, antibiotics or pesticides are used – ever. This product is non-GMO and gluten free.