Back two and a half millennia, Hippocrates, the father of medicine noted, “Walking is man’s best medicine” ever since, all evidence, subjective, empirical, and rigidly scientific, strongly, without exception, have supported that contention. Exercise is not a dirty word; it is very positive. The Merriam Webster dictionary’s definition is “physical activity that is done in order to become stronger and healthier”. So, exercise is activity with a worthy purpose.
Animals are constructed to be mobile, unlike plants whose job is to be biological solar panels, animals need to forage for fuel. Until the arrival of agriculture and animal husbandry, our hominoid ancestors had to be physically active in acquiring food. Except for certain times of the year and certain choice locations, those who caught more game ate more and had increased survival, likely because they traveled greater distances foraging. Now human’s greatest foraging problem is standing in line at the checkout stand.
Everyone knows exercise is beneficial, yet studies show that only one-third of Americans declare that they exercise regularly. And since the exercise duration in the quoted study was only ten minutes or more, probably half of those do not exercise with enough vigor or long enough to secure health benefits. Error in surveys that ask whether one does something desirable is usually skewed upward with people claiming desired behaviors they do not actually do. Definite exercise benefits are seen when people moderately exercise for 30 minutes five times a week.
The rewards of physical activity are manifold including right now and future paybacks. Especially now when we are in such annoying times a 30-minute walk has been shown to be as calming as a tranquilizer! Regular exercisers not only live longer, they live better.
Aging is not a four-letter word; it is mandatorily essential. People gain certain functions growing older but other functions diminish. People in their 40s cannot run as fast as they could in their 20s and so on. Regular exercise allows retention of our treasured functioning.
Regular exercise is the best investment one can make toward a health-giving future. It not only allows enhanced living in the NOW; it reduces the chance the bad actors of health including heart attack, stroke, and cancer will visit. Suspensions of bad stuff foretell exercise’s wholesome effects on the overall aging process. Aging is molecular damage to living cells from “aging molecules” called among other terms free radicals. They are produced by cellular staying alive.
The faster cells produce energy the more “aging molecules” they produce. Thus, exercise should worsen things but the body has a wonderful protective mechanism to produce “antiaging molecules” which neutralizes the bad molecules.
Because of exercising’s overproduction of protective molecules, exercisers have less loss of function as they continue maturing. You can gain and retain better overall physical and mental performance. Start slow and see your doctor if necessary.