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- Message of the Month
Want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Look not further than exercise. The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. And the benefits of exercise are yours for the taking, regardless of your age, sex or physical ability. It has been medically and scientifically proven that exercise controls weight, helps combat health conditions and diseases, improves mood, boost energy, and promotes better sleep. After intense number crunching to control for different variables, the research backs up what we all know intuitively—almost any amount of regular exercise promotes longevity. And even small amounts of exercise can make a big difference. For example, people who chose to walk briskly for just 11 minutes per day (75 minutes each week) added 1.8 years to their life, compared to non-exercisers. That’s a nice boost for 11 minutes of walk. The people who increased their life span the most walked 43 minutes a day, lengthening their life by an average of 4.2 years. After 43 minutes, the benefits of longevity tended to level off.
If you want your body to stay young, you might want to exercise more. Scientists recently found that only people who exercise the most actually benefit at a cellular level.
|The American Heart Association says even bursts of exercise may not counter the unhealthy effects of sitting too much. Cardiologist Dr. Tara Narula joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss the new warnings about sedentary lifestyles.
74-year Old Body Builder
Female bodybuilder Ernestine Shepherd is more than 70 years old and perhaps in the best shape of her life. Shepherd didn't start exercising until her mid-50s and didn't enter her first bodybuilding competition until she was 71-years-old. At 74, she was awarded the Guinness record as the oldest female bodybuilder for the 2012.
96-year-old Holds The World Record For Oldest Yoga Teacher
Despite being close to 100, a yoga teacher is still inspiring students who are a quarter of her age. Tao Porchon Lynch has been practicing yoga for more than 70 years and at the tender age of 96 she shows no signs of slowing down. Aged 85 Tao decided to take up ballroom dancing and is now putting her 26-year-old dance partner Vard Margaryn through his paces in her hometown of Westchester, New York. In spite of having undergone a full hip replacement and recently breaking her wrist, Tao believes that it’s her positive attitude that keeps her so young and agile.
'Aging is for idiots'
Tony Horton is happy to tell anyone who will listen that he's turning 59 next month. The creator of such popular workout programs as the P90X (and P90X2 and P90X3) and 22 Minute Hard Corps, Horton found his success by telling others that they don't need to be perfect. No question, his workouts are hard, in some cases extreme, but there is always a modification and never an expectation of perfection. The idea is to work toward success on a regular basis, something he practices himself, even as he approaches his 60s. His mantra: "Do your best, forget the rest."
Health Benefits of Swimming
Watch this clip to learn more about the many health benefits you can gain from swimming regularly. You'll see that swimming is great for reducing stress, strengthening the cardiovascular system, and much more. Finally, the clip will leave you with some important tips for safe swimming.
Benefits of Exercise and the Brain
Exercise and the Brain explains how aerobic activity transforms not only the body but also the mind of people of all ages, from children to seniors. Exercise creates new brain cells. Exercise and the Brain shows also how exercise improves brain function, creates a stronger heart, decreases the possibility of depression, anxiety, sleeping problems and lowers stress levels, increases energy levels, endurance, strength and stamina, improves self-esteem, decreases risk of cancer, helps on weight loss, keeps bones and joints healthy, and more. Exercise and the Brain gives also some recommendations to start today, like walking every day as much as possible, and to not sit all day.
30-Minute Cardio Exercise
The best 30-Minute cardio weight loss and fat burning exercise video with Cindy Whitmarsh from Exercise TV .
Rebounding for your immune system
Chris demonstrates how he used rebounding to help his body heal from cancer naturally without chemotherapy. Rebounding creates an increased G-force resistance (gravitational load) and positively stresses every cell in your body. As a result, it strengthens your entire musculoskeletal system: your bones, muscles, connective tissue, and even organs. And it promotes lymphatic circulation by stimulating the millions of one-way valves in your lymphatic system. Rebounding is very low impact and allows you to do jumping and aerobic exercises for much longer intervals than you could on solid ground without tiring out or creating harmful oxidative and adrenal stress.
Keys to Burning Dangerous Belly Fat
Learn how to lose belly fat today, with the right exercises to lose belly fat! Do you have trouble trying to lose belly fat with exercise? If so, you are probably making some very simple mistakes. Learn how to fix them once and for all. If you answered yes, then you are certainly not alone! Chances are that you are making some very common mistakes when you exercise. These mistakes are stopping you from being able to effectively lose belly fat with exercise!
Stronger Seniors Core Strength Program
The Stronger Seniors Core Strength Program is designed to help seniors develop strength and enhance their ability to function better in daily life. This is a chair-based Pilates program incorporating core exercises to strengthen the back and abdominal, training the body from the inside out. No other exercise system is so gentle to your body while giving it a challenging workout. Since most of the exercises are performed in sitting positions, they are no-impact. Stronger Seniors Core Strength is so safe, it is used in physical therapy facilities to rehabilitate injuries.
Lower back stretching for seniors
Lower back stretching for seniors and the elderly is an important daily activity for older adults. As we age our joint range of motion is reduced in our spine and trunk. It is important to increase our spinal flexibility as well as our rib cage flexibility for activities like reaching a low cupboard or high shelf. As we age our shoulder begin to migrate forward of our ears. This causes our thoracic and cervical spine to curve forward. This adds to the "hunch" in our backs and brings our chin and head forward also. To help minimize this poor posture position, try the back stretch exercise below seen on this video.
Exercise for Heart Disease Patients
A gentle, low-impact program for Seniors to get the heart rate up and get the blood moving! This clip focuses on the lower body. This Chair Exercise program helps seniors and the disabled get a great cardio workout.
When I was about to turn 40, I started working out regularly after years of inactivity. As I sweated my way through cardio, weights, and dance classes, I noticed that exercise wasn’t just changing my body. It was also profoundly transforming my brain—for the better. The immediate effects of exercise on my mood and thought process proved to be a powerful motivational tool. And as a neuroscientist and workout devotee, I’ve come to believe that these neurological benefits could have profound implications for how we live, learn and age as a society. Let’s start with one of the most practical immediate benefits of breaking a sweat: exercise combats stress. Exercise is a powerful way to combat feelings of stress because it causes immediate increases in levels of key neurotransmitters, including serotonin, noradrenalin, dopamine and endorphins, that are often depleted by anxiety and depression. That’s why going for a run or spending 30 minutes on the elliptical can boost our moods immediately—combatting the negative feelings we often associate with chronic stressors we deal with every day.
In my lab, we have also demonstrated that exercise improves our ability to shift and focus attention. Even casual exercisers will recognize this effect. It’s that heightened sense of focus that you feel right after you’ve gotten your blood flowing, whether it be a brisk walk with the dog or a full-on Crossfit workout. These findings suggest that if you have a big presentation or meeting where you need your focus and attention to be at its peak, you should get in a workout ahead of time to maximize those brain functions.
But my favorite neuroscience-based motivation for exercise relates to its effects on the hippocampus—a key brain structure that’s critical for long-term memory. We all have two hippocampi: one on the right side of the brain and the other on the left. The hippocampus is unique because it is one of only two brain areas where new brain cells continue to be generated throughout our lives, a process called adult hippocampal neurogenesis.
Studies in rodents demonstrated that increased levels of physical exercise can result in improved memory by enhancing both the birth rate and the survival of new hippocampal brain cells. Exercise encourages the long-term growth of hippocampal cells by immediately increasing levels of a key growth factor in the hippocampus called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF. Now, when I exercise, I imagine BDNF levels surging in my hippocampi, encouraging all those new hippocampal cells to grow.
All this should serve as a powerful motivator for regular physical activity. But the immediate and long-term benefits of exercise on the brain have even bigger implications. Just consider how the educational system might be altered if we acknowledge exercise’s ability to brighten our mood, decrease stress, and improve our attention span and memory. The growing evidence that exercise improves these key brain functions should encourage schools around the world to increase—not decrease—students’ physical activity. Not only would this help students to better absorb everything from history lessons to chemistry experiments, they’d be a lot happier too.
The positive brain-based effects of exercise for education are just as relevant for very young children. The growing popularity of outdoor preschools are a promising sign that this message is starting to get through. These brain effects of exercise also have implications for our search for that magic “smart” pill we hope will make us more productive, successful, and—if you believe the Bradley Cooper film “Limitless”—a lot sexier as well. What if the real magic does not come in the form of a pill, but in the form of an exercise regime? That’s exactly what the neuroscience research suggests. In fact, my lab is focusing on identifying how we can use exercise to optimize brain function for people of all ages, fitness levels and abilities. If regular exercise becomes routine for the vast majority of children and adults, we could have a population that’s not only healthier and less stressed, but also more productive.
The good news doesn’t end there. Recent findings have suggested that the brain’s hippocampus is also involved in giving people the ability to imagine new situations. Since we know that exercise enhances the birth of new hippocampal brain cells and can improve memory function, this discovery suggests that exercise might be able to improve the imaginative functions of the hippocampusas well.
This idea has not yet been tested in people. But the hypothesis raises the exciting possibility that exercise could make students more imaginative at school and adults more creative at work, with broad benefits for society as a whole. It is also worth noting one of the most profound long-term benefits of exercise on the brain. That is, the longer and more regularly you exercise through your life, the lower your chances are of suffering from cognitive decline and dementia as you age. Part of this effect can be attributed to the build-up in the numbers of healthy young hippocampal cells as you exercise over the years.
Granted, this is a very long-term benefit that may not be seen for decades to come. But if more people were to join the gym this month and actually stick to it, more of us will be able to avoid debilitating cognitive decline, which could save society billions of dollars as we enter old age. This problem is even more relevant for countries with particularly large aging populations, including the US, Japan and Germany.
In these ways, neuroscience gives us a framework to understand exercise as a tool for better education, increased productivity in the workforce and combating cognitive decline. It’s time for us to stop using the looming prospect of beach season as the motivation for exercise—and instead shift the conversation to a discussion about how staying active can change the way we live.
It's oft-repeated but true: exercise keeps you healthy. It boosts your immune system, keeps the mind sharp, helps you sleep, maintains your muscle tone, and extends your healthy lifespan. Researchers have long suspected that the benefits of exercise extend down to the cellular level, but know relatively little about which exercises help cells rebuild key organelles that deteriorate with aging. A study published March 7 in Cell Metabolism found that exercise—and in particular high-intensity interval training in aerobic exercises such as biking and walking—caused cells to make more proteins for their energy-producing mitochondria and their protein-building ribosomes, effectively stopping aging at the cellular level.
Nair stressed that the focus of this study wasn't on developing recommendations, but rather on understanding how exercise helps at the molecular level. As we age, the energy-generating capacity of our cells' mitochondria slowly decreases. By comparing proteomic and RNA-sequencing data from people on different exercise programs, the researchers found evidence that exercise encourages the cell to make more RNA copies of genes coding for mitochondrial proteins and proteins responsible for muscle growth. Exercise also appeared to boost the ribosomes' ability to build mitochondrial proteins. The most impressive finding was the increase in muscle protein content. In some cases, the high-intensity biking regimen actually seemed to reverse the age-related decline in mitochondrial function and proteins needed for muscle building.
The high-intensity biking regimen also rejuvenated the volunteers' ribosomes, which are responsible for producing our cells' protein building blocks. The researchers also found a robust increase in mitochondrial protein synthesis. Increase in protein content explains enhanced mitochondrial function and muscle hypertrophy. Exercise's ability to transform these key organelles could explain why exercise benefits our health in so many different ways.
Muscle is somewhat unique because muscle cells divide only rarely. Like brain and heart cells, muscle cells wear out and aren't easily replaced. Functions in all three of those tissues are known to decline with age. "Unlike liver, muscle is not readily regrown. The cells can accumulate a lot of damage," Nair explains. However, if exercise restores or prevents deterioration of mitochondria and ribosomes in muscle cells, there's a good chance it does so in other tissues, too. Understanding the pathways that exercise uses to work its magic may make aging more targetable.
Nair and his colleagues hope to find out more about how exercise benefits different tissues throughout the body. They are also looking into ways that clinicians may be able to target the pathways that confer the most benefits. However, for the time being, vigorous exercise remains the most effective way to bolster health. "There are substantial basic science data to support the idea that exercise is critically important to prevent or delay aging," says Nair. "There's no substitute for that."