• EN&T Contributor

Cardiovascular and Cognitive Benefits for Living Long & Strong!


Did you know that exercise is and will always be one of the primary keys to living a good life with a long lifespan? We cannot stop or reverse the circle of life, but we can influence how we experience that journey. And note that it’s never, ever too late to start making healthy choices to better your future than to start right now; today or this week if possible.

Yes, Memorial Day is among us, but that does not mean you have to sit around and stuff your face with unhealthy foods, nor does it mean that you do not have to enjoy yourself either; but finding a healthy balance is ideal. To make the long weekend more enjoyable, how about incorporating some exercise into your life. You can start every morning with a quick fast pace walk or jog that will last just 15 to 20 minutes for starters. It does not have to be anything too strenuous on the body.

By adding exercise to one’s life offers one the ability to improve the cardiovascular and cognitive systems that helps one to live a longer more fulfilling life.

Cardiovascular Benefits

The heart and lungs naturally experience a reduction in efficiency and strength over time; this is especially true in sedentary populations. With advancing age, the heart must work harder to accomplish the same amount of work, both at rest and during activity. Resting heart rate also declines at a rate of one beat per minute each year. Similarly, the lungs lose some of their ability to supply adequate amounts of oxygen to the working tissues and organ systems. Regular exercise, however, helps increase systemic blood flow and oxygen supply.

Becoming and remaining physically active and incorporating aerobic exercise (walking, aquatics, cycling, jogging, running, dance etc.) can lower and control blood pressure, which reduces the overall stress on the heart. Activity also can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent atherosclerotic build up in the arteries. Further, individuals who remain active reduce their risk of all-cause mortality and premature death from preventable diseases. So, while you may not be able to outlast Father Time, you can certainly walk far enough ahead that it makes it difficult for him to catch you.

Cognitive Benefits

The brain is a truly remarkable jigsaw puzzle. In fact, modern medicine could study the brain indefinitely and still not learn everything there is to know about its mysterious complex system. The brain is continually changing in size and functionality. Typical age-related changes include a decrease in brain weight and size (not significant, but still a reduction), network size and blood supply. The aging brain also experiences memory loss, a decrease in inductive reasoning skills and mental acuity, a decrease in spatial awareness and the development of balance issues.

No one is immune to changes in the brain, but exercise and physical activity along with proper nutrition significantly slows the rate of cognitive dysfunction. Think about it in these terms—what’s good for the heart, is also good for the brain.

Overall, exercise improves memory, enhances thinking and problem-solving skills, boosts brain supporting hormones, enhances blood and oxygen flow to the brain, acts as a natural anti-depressant and stress reliever, and it improves focus, allowing you to concentrate on difficult or challenging tasks. In short, keep on your feet so that you can keep your mind sharp and working in tip top shape.

Conclusion

In conclusion, engaging in an active and balanced lifestyle that includes a combination of aerobic, muscular strength, and flexibility exercises helps ward off a range of diseases, slows the rate of muscle tissue loss and improves activities of daily living. If you need assistance with improving your health once you speak to your primary Physician contact us here to learn more on how working with a Holistic Health & Wellness/Life Coach/ Behavior Change & Nutrition Specialist and Personal Trainer can assist you on your journey. We help people who are willing to change and make things happen via action, accountability and tough love. We work to hold our clients accountable and help people to stop making excuses on why they can’t afford to take care of their own health. Excuses and fear are two of the biggest things holding people back from achieving their goals period.

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