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May 31, 2012

Exercise: The Key to Living a Healthy and Independent Life

“If you had to pick one thing, one single thing that came closest to the fountain of youth, then it would have to be exercise.” – James Fries, M.D., Stanford University.

Fountain of youth, silver bullet, cure-all—whatever you call it, exercise is proving to be the key to living a long, healthy, independent life. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly live longer and enjoy better health than those who don’t.

A federal study found that people who engaged in moderately vigorous exercise for as little as 15 minutes a day could decrease their risk of dying by 20%. Increasing exercise to one hour a day decreased this risk by 40%.

The Inarguable Truth

In a 21-year study published in 2008, a Stanford University team led by Dr. James Fries, found that middle-aged people who exercised regularly were able to competently perform normal daily activities 16 years longer than their sedentary peers.

The Power of Exercise

The list of benefits exercise provides for the body is long and varied: Regular exercise strengthens the heart, improves lung function, prevents bone loss, builds muscle mass, reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers high blood pressure, decreases stroke risk, fights depression, reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, helps stave off colon and breast cancer, helps prevent obesity, relieves stress, and enhances cognitive function.

Exercise is brain food. Just 15 minutes of regular exercise three times a week is enough to maintain a healthy brain, according to a study by Group Health Research Institute in Seattle. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce dementia risk by 30-40% and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

For more tips on remaining healthy, check out our free download, 11 Tips for Aging Successfully at Home.


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