(One message of this blog is that, with persistence, you can be healthy, vibrant and highly productive throughout your life. Here is still another scientific study that proves our point.)
According to Norwegian researchers, a 50-year-old who exercises regularly can be as fit as a 20-year-old who doesn’t exercise.
The study showed that:
- Youth is not necessarily the most important factor when it comes to being fit.
- Activity is far more important than age in determining fitness.
- Both the amount and the intensity of the exercise are important.
- The least fit people, no matter what their age, have the poorest measures of cardiovascular health, such as higher blood pressure and high cholesterol.
These researchers found that by increasing the intensity of exercise, people are able to reduce their risk of metabolic syndrome, the cluster of risk factors that increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
The process of getting healthy and staying healthy is simple . . . but it’s not always easy. To receive the health benefits of exercise, you have to exercise with intensity.
One way to do this is through interval training where you alternate short bursts of high intensity exercise with short periods of lower intensity exercise.
For example, you might run for 1 to 4 minutes followed by 1 to 4 minutes of walking. Then, when you progress, you could alternate hard running with slower, easier running.
Your goal is to work up to 30 minutes of exercise per day.
Of course, especially if you are a couch potato now, you should consult with your physician before beginning an exercise program . . . and always use common sense. The first rule of exercise is: don’t hurt yourself.
If you are a complete newbie at exercise, or just want some instruction and encouragement, you would be wise to consult a qualified personal trainer.