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Fitness for Longevity: The Relationship Between Exercise and Lifespan

© John Abdo

I’d like to begin this article by setting science aside for a moment and instead using a bit of plain old common sense. And if I also may, I’d like to offer some of my theories which relate to the title of this article, and for that matter, the objective for this newsletter.

Let’s discuss the relationship of exercise on longevity in a logical manner. I’ve always sensed that the healthier one is, the longer that person should live. Comparatively speaking, if one is weak and out-of-shape, and is prone to pain, illness, and disease, I don’t figure that person would live a long life, and if they did, they’d live a long miserable life.

Now how’s that for practical common sense. No science in my theory, just a gut feeling on what makes man live each day to his fullest and his life to its longest length possible.

Unfortunately, I personally cannot prove my theory. Life extension is difficult, if not impossible, to provide fact. However, if you do agree with me, or at least, sense some truth behind my theory, the remainder of this article should enlighten your today, tomorrow and lifespan. And although I’m interjecting my common logic in this piece, you can rest assure that plenty of scientific research can back most of it up.

Exercise: Friend or Foe?
It is now known that conditioning yourself through fitness activities can help to make you healthier. And fitness means proper exercise, food, supplementation, relaxation, and a positive cheerful attitude. When you have developed a routine that comprises all of these elements; and have learned to integrate and balance them into your personal, social, family, and occupational life, you will become resistant to many of the stresses and ailments so many others fall victim to.

Several studies have proven that exercise will increase lifespan. Exercise contributes to the quality of ones life by improving both physiologic and psychological functions. This improvement in ones life can eliminate the need for special care reducing the consumption of toxic drugs and therapies which offer temporary results with an association of negative consequences.

In other studies conducted in laboratory animals, it was found that sedentary rats lived shorter lives than their active counterparts. It can then be safely stated that lifespan and energy expenditure do have a correlation, however the expended energy must be at intensities which stimulate growth and repair of the body, instead of placing too much trauma to the tissues, organs, and nervous system.

I believe many athletes might actually be shortening their lifespans with the intensity they train under. The loads they subject themselves to during training often times over burdens their bodies. Intense training is a necessity in today’s world of competitive sports, as training sessions are designed to improve on ones own personal ability to surpasses his/her competition. And with the frequency of training sessions, recuperation time between workout sessions is not adequate enough to repair the damage from previous workouts and over training become the state.

Ego is also known to interfere with health. Classically, the so-called "A" type personality is the aggressive, never relaxed, always competitive, individual. It is this classification of personalities that is highly prone to heart disease. Comparatively speaking, the "B" type person is more laid back, paces him/herself in life and during workouts, and doesn’t care if he/she wins the race--they’re happy just to be there.

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About The Author
JOHN ABDO is regarded world wide as an authority on life motivation, health, fitness and athletic conditioning. As a former Olympic trainer, John has trained numerous Olympic and World-Class athletes, including Bonnie Blair, multiple Gold Medal recipient. From 1985 to 1997, John Abdo produced and hosted his own weekly syndicated television series called Training & Nutrition 2000,......more
 
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