Virginia Integrative Health
410 Pine Street Southeast
Vienna, VA 22180
Exercise: The Fountain of Youth Right In Front Of Us
Everyday millions of people take up the hunt for the magic pill that will make them stronger, faster, smarter, or younger. In the midst of an increasingly toxic environment, as well as a “must do it now” high pressure work environment, its understandable people are looking for the magical supplement to improve vitality.
Yet the hard truth is, as wonderful as some of today’s supplements are the number one, two and three most effective things you can do to improve and maintain health and turn the clock back is exercise, exercise, and, wait for it… exercise! There’s just no getting around it.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, knew it in 400 BC when he said, “Walking is man’s best medicine.” Today a rapidly building amount of research is proving him more correct than we ever could have imagined. As an anti-inflammatory, exercise produces a plethora of benefits including creating antioxidants, improving cellular communication, turning on the expression of beneficial DNA and in turn, increasing stem cell regeneration.
Exercise improves hormone production, builds bone and muscle, increases energy production, improves oxygen utilization, and boosts immune function. Some of the more impactful long-term results are cancer risk reduction, protection against dementia and mental decline, and lengthening telomeres – the “caps” on the end of our DNA that are intimately tied with aging.
In fact, regular moderate to high intensity exercise is so effective at slowing the aging process that some studies show DNA telomere length can be equivalent to people nine years younger or more, compared to those who don’t regularly exercise. Where the studies don’t agree – yet – is how long people should exercise, what kind of exercise they should do, and how intense should it be. Suggestions range from thirty to forty minutes of moderate aerobic exercise five days per week, to two ninety-second maximal effort sprints three to four times a week.
More recent medical research is showing that in most instances, shorter durations and higher intensity exercise regimen have the greatest effect on improving health parameters for the vast majority of people. But the key is to move. The data is showing that almost every chronic illness today, from diabetes to Alzheimer’s, is a disease of senescence.
So, get moving. You’ll live longer, with a better quality of life to boot.