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Fitness for Longevity: The Relationship Between Exercise and Lifespan

© John Abdo

Conditioned hearts, even at rest, provide a higher volume of blood and oxygen throughout the body as each heart beat is more forceful. The weak and out-of-conditioned heart has to beat faster and more repetitively to supply the same amount of blood and oxygen to the body which stands to reason why poorly conditioned hearts wear out quicker.

Strength and Support
In my last article, I mentioned that the body has two basic muscle fiber types, 1) Fast Twitch muscle fibers (FT) and, 2) Slow Twitch muscle fibers (ST). The FT fibers are those fibers which are responsible for strong and quick actions like carrying a bag of groceries, tossing out the garbage, swinging a golf club, picking up your child, etc. The ST fibers are used for walking, playing chess, and other slow, non stressing, activities.

As we age, and/or become out of condition due to exercise/activity reduction or abstinence, FT fibers start to atrophy preventing us from engaging in chores we once had the strength for just a few short years previous.

In my opinion, if we maintain a respectable degree of muscle strength with exercise, to prevent the inevitable decline of FT tissue with aging, I believe we can live each day like a person years younger and prevent a myriad of physical ailments that are normally associated with weak and frail muscles.

Osteporosis
Other studies indicate that exercise strengthens bones and slows the progress of osteoporosis, a bone-thinning ailment, commonly associated with older women. Weight-bearing exercise, especially that obtained from lifting weights and using resistance machines, places a healthy stress to the bones and encourages new bone growth.

Additionally, with a well-conditioned muscular system, the posture of the body is kept in proper alignment. Since muscles hold the skeletal system in place, weak and out of shape muscles poorly aligned the body. Anatomical malalignment can create various degenerative joint conditions as bones, and their connections, compress together. When joints become crowded, their natural gaps and lubrication are reduced, and a grinding during movement wears them down even further.

Sexuality: The Pleasure of Life
You cannot deny that sex feels great. And if you engage in great sex with the one you love on a regular basis you’ll be living an ecstatic life. Another inevitable condition associated with normal aging is the decline of sexual functioning. This decline is often related to the degradation of the endocrine system which reduces the hormones that stimulate sexual fantasy, arousal, and the performance of the sex act itself.

It is clearly known that sensible exercise stimulates the body to produce higher levels of hormones keeping the biological age in parallel, or even at a younger stage, than ones chronological age. And as the bumper sticker states, "Runners do it longer"; obviously referring to their loving abilities, so can you if you engage in the right exercise activities. And to recite another life extension theory of mine, the more enjoyment you get out of life, the longer your life should be.

But don’t go out and start to run marathons and think you’re going to win a trophy in bed-time performance. Too much exercise can actually deplete the body of sex hormones making performance difficult, if not, at times, impossible. In fact, couples having conception difficulties are encouraged that the males reduce or stop intense exercise until their wives have become pregnant.

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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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Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.