Boost Longevity with Leaner Food, More Exercise
Do we really require, as a people, to be told still to avoid sugary desserts and couch-potato behavior? New research from Sweden sheds new light on the consequences of unhealthy habits during a span of 25 to 30 years.
“There are very clear, biological reasons why we humans are so compelled to eat sugary, fatty foods,” says physician Dr. James L. Hardeman, an expert in internal medicine in California for over 30 years.
“If there was ever a case of ‘too much of a good thing,’ it’s a sedentary lifestyle coupled with all of this delicious, readily available food,” says Hardeman. “The easy life’isn’t so easy in the long term,” he advises. Multiple studies indicate the multidimensional nature of healthy habits, including one recently published by the Lund University Diabetes Centre in Sweden. The study tracked significant improvements in men who changed their lifestyle from inactive to active, and the results were significant — and impressive.
Waist circumference and blood pressure drastically improved after six months. But the study also showed that health also improved at the microscopic level, such as the functioning of genes and how they express proteins. Other studies indicate that gene improvement can occur after just one workout.
“Our bodies want to be healthy, and it’s just a matter of getting and staying motivated,” says Hardeman [photo at right] who offers his exclusive tips:
• Don’t fall into the “I don’t have time” trap. Time is arguably the most precious commodity any individual has – and that means life span. Don’t have time to chop veggies before dinner or work out after work? You will almost certainly live longer by following a healthier lifestyle. Need more incentive than a vague sense of health? How about avoiding diabetes, or the medical interventions necessitated by a heart attack?
• Keep in mind the intake/output principle. Miracle diets don’t exist. While some people can burn calories more easily than others, it ultimately comes down to what you put into your body and what you do with that energy. If you want to lose or maintain weight, think of a 360-calorie muffin as a loan you have to pay back with 35 to 40 minutes worth of jogging, or a 55-minute walk.
• Find the motivator that works for you. Many people find a partner helps them stay motivated to exercise. If you’re not inclined to walk in the morning, but you don’t want to let down your walking partner, then you’re more likely to walk anyway. Same goes for a dog that needs to be walked. If your routine is getting a dull, mix it up with an mp3 player.
You can always program a personal adrenalin soundtrack to keep yourself fully amped during workouts, say our experts.
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