Message to all forty-somethings from a fifty-something: You know that ticking biological clock we all share? It only goes goes forward. It doesn’t go back unless you push it…hard…REALLY HARD!
Of course playing your favorite sport is giving you your best body, but in addition, the American Medical Association says that 6 out of 7 of these healthy habits will give you a 76 percent lower risk of heart-related death and a 51% lower risk of death from disease. Exercising and playing your sport is getting you there. Check it out:
Not Smoking: Do you know a serious athlete that smokes? Not!
Being Physically Active: Dah!
Having Normal Blood Pressure (defined as under 120/80): According to the Mayo Clinic, regular physical activity — at least 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). And it doesn't take long to see a difference. If you haven't been active, increasing your exercise level can lower your blood pressure within just a few weeks. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure/HI00027
Having Healthy Blood Glucose Levels (Below 100): The Journal of Applied Physiology states, “A small, new study found that 30 minutes of high-intensity exercise a week -- a total exercise time of 75 minutes a week with warm-up and cool-down included -- could lower blood sugar levels for 24 hours after exercise, and help prevent post-meal blood sugar spikes in people with type 2 diabetes.”
Having Total Cholesterol Below 200: According to WebMD, “Exercise stimulates enzymes that help move LDL from the blood (and blood-vessel walls) to the liver. From there, the cholesterol is converted into bile (for digestion) or excreted. So the more you exercise, the more LDL your body expels.” http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/features/exercise-to-lower-cholesterol
Maintaining a Healthy Weight: The Center for Disease Control says, “To maintain your weight, work your way up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent mix of the two each week. Strong scientific evidence shows that physical activity can help you maintain your weight over time.” http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/health/index.html
Eating a Healthy Diet: As an athlete, you know better than anyone how important it is to give your body what it needs for peak performance, but possibly you think that doing all that exercise entitles you to indulge. Big mistake! The absolute most important thing you can do for your body now is eat what it needs to stay healthy and young. Sports and energy drinks, energy bars and other quick fixes, can help you out in the short term, but not for the long haul. Learn what your body needs and it will “take you well” into the next decade time and again.
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