What if I told you, you could live an extra 10 years of disease-free life but you had to do just ONE thing. Would you do it?
That thing is NOT taking any supplements, or going on any extreme low carb or anti-inflammatory diet. It doesn’t involve seeing anyone for treatments and it’s not a hack.
That thing is exercise! But not just going for a leisurely walk with your four-legged friend or throwing a frisbee with your better half.
Researchers at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research conducted an investigation that focused on more than 1,500 Australian adults over the age of 50 who were followed over a 10-year period.
The study showed that high levels of physical activity increase the likelihood of surviving an EXTRA 10 YEARS free from chronic diseases, mental impairment and disability. However, this was reserved for those that performed over 5000 metabolic equivalent minutes (MET minutes) a week, which is about 600 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week.
So if you exercise 6 days per week, that’s 100 minutes per day, which is a lot!
However, more intense forms of exercise and weight training can also help to burn plenty of calories (which is where much of the benefit comes from).
Weight training or resistance training also has a host of other benefits including:
- Increased strength and tone
- Improved performance of everyday tasks
- Reduced chances of pain and injuries
- Fat loss
- Reduced chance of developing a host of diseases
- Reduced cognitive decline
= Improved stamina
= Improved bone strength
= Increased self-esteem
= Reduced effort for given activities
So, what is my advice if you want to live longer, feel better but you're in pain?
It can be hard, with all of the information out on the internet and social media, to know where to start. Do you need to be performing cardio, or HIIT, or activating the right muscles?
My advice: Keep things SIMPLE.
Start with lifting weights 2-3 x per week and aiming to walk / cycle or exercise of choice on the other days. Think of sweating everyday. The best form of exercise is the one that you actually do so make sure to try and find something you enjoy.
Get a coach - someone who can help guide you through the process of getting strong and fit. If you are in pain or have had a history of injuries, it can help if your coach is a physiotherapist so that they understand your injuries. If you want to get strong and fit, you need to aim for progressive overload - things need to gradually get harder. Otherwise your body will plateau. A coach will also help to keep you accountable, motivate you and ensure you are doing what you need to do.
Remember, movement is medicine and motion is lotion!
Yours in strength, Geoff Ford from Be Strong Physio