How Working Out Regularly Helps Increase Lifespan
We’ve all heard that the sedentary lifestyle is bad for our health, but can exercise actually make us live longer? Experts seem to think so.
Obesity can lead to numerous health problems including heart disease, certain cancers such as bowel and breast cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes. There are many factors which can contribute to obesity, such as hereditary conditions and poor diet, but a study conducted a few years ago by Harvard School of Public Health found that when people who were overweight or obese exercised for 150 minutes a week they lived an average of 2.7 to 3.4 years longer than people who were obese and didn’t exercise.
The same study also found that when people of an average weight exercised for 150 minutes a week lived for an average of 4.7 years longer than people of the same weight who did not exercise. This study suggests that exercise itself can make you live longer, although other factors like a healthy diet and lifestyle will also help. Another study run by the National Cancer Institute found that people who are physically active live around 4.5 years longer than people who are mostly sedentary.
So why does exercise make people live longer? One reason is that aerobic exercise such as running, swimming or even walking exercises the heart and reduces the risk of heart disease. Exercise also helps you lose weight and there are a lot of health risks (see above) associated with being obese. Weight lifting exercises can reduce the risk of back pain, arthritis and osteoporosis. Some exercises, such as running or walking outside, can also expose the person to fresh air and vitamin D, which carries their own health benefits. Lastly, exercise releases endorphins in your body which make you feel happier and helps reduce stress. Stress can increase the risk of tons of health problems including heart disease and depression, so reducing stress through exercise can fight away a lot of problems.
There is clearly a link between exercise and living a longer, happier life, but the exercise itself doesn’t need to be particularly strenuous or time consuming. 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of more intense aerobic exercise can help you live longer and improve your health, so instead of watching another episode on Netflix why not put on your trainers and get moving.
Increasing Blood Flow For a Better You
Blood is constantly circulating through our blood vessels as it brings nutrients and oxygens to our organs and cells. Blood circulation makes our cells grow properly, it helps keep the vital organs healthy, it keeps the skin healthy, it helps reduce the heart rate, and it moves waste away from the organs. Healthy blood flow is essential for maintaining good health, in fact we simply could not survive without it.
So how can you increase your blood flow? There are loads of ways to increase blood flow.
One way is by increasing aerobic activity, like jogging, swimming or walking. Regular exercise gets your blood pumping and improves oxygen levels in your blood, so it’s recommended that you try regularly exercising 3 days a week. Exercise doesn’t have to involve sweaty gym sessions or intense weight lifting – start out small by walking part of the way home or join a fitness class.
Sitting around for long periods of time isn’t great for your blood flow, so if you spend your days sitting in front of a computer try a few simple stretches to improve circulation and increase flexibility/help ward off back pain. Trying to stand up straight and then slowly drop your head and roll down your spine until you’re hanging over your toes and then bounce with your feet on the ground to loosen up and get that blood pumping.
Massage is another good way to increase blood flow and reduce muscle tension/clear out excess toxins at the same time. Professional masseuses are your best bet, but if that’s not an option try asking a friend or family member or failing that have a go at massaging yourself!
Taking a hot bath is a good (if temporary) way of increasing blood flow because it expands your veins and arteries which makes way for more blood to pump around your body.
Eating a healthy diet is a great way of maintaining healthy blood circulation and keeping yourself healthy and happy at the same time. Processed foods that are high in fat can clog your arteries so it’s a good idea to eat lots of vegetables, whole grains, good fats (like nuts, seeds and avocado) and lean meats.
Did you know that spicy foods are good for blood circulation? It’s because they contain capsaicin which increases blood flow. If you’re a fan of hot food use this as an excuse to add extra chili!
Lastly, remember to drink lots of water. Dehydration can reduce blood flow, so try and drink at least 8 cups of water a day.
What Kind of Home Workouts Have the Best Effect on the Body
There are so many home fitness routines floating around the internet that it can be hard to tell what really works, so here are some of the most effective workouts with no equipment necessary.
Having a strong core does more than tone your stomach. It can also protect your inner organs, stop back pain, prevent injury and improve posture. Here are a few routines that have a great effect on the body.
- Crunches are an obvious starting point, but to really strengthen your core use your legs by extending them up into the air and hold for eight crunches (it hurts, but it works.)
- Another effective exercise goes like this: Pull your knees towards your chest, raise your upper body in a standard crunch position and then touch your right knee with your left elbow whilst extending the left leg and repeat for 10.
- Other effective abdominal exercises include the side plank, the superman (lie on your stomach with your legs straight and arms in front and then raise the arms and legs off the floor so you are balancing on your torso and hold)
You don’t need fancy gym weights, you have your own body to work with!
- Push Ups. Make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders and you lift and lower your body in one motion.
- Rise into a push up and hold it.
- The spider lunge. From plank position move one bent leg forward and back and repeat with the other for a few rounds.
- Make sure your legs are shoulder width apart and your weight is balanced in the middle.
- The single leg deadlift. Stand with a straight back, move one leg behind and slowly lift it whilst making sure your back remains flat and your head is parallel.
- The wall sit. Literally just stand against a wall, bend your legs and hold a seating position for thirty seconds.
These fast-paced routines will get you sweating in no time.
- Try the squat jump. From a squatting position, jump up and land with bent legs.
- Jumping jacks.
- Jog on the spot.
- start in a squat position, jump out into plank, jump up and reach up with your arms, and repeat.
- Tuck jump. Start with your knees bent, jump up high and tuck your knees into your chest in mid-air.
Why Electric Bikes Are Great (And Why They're Not)
Thinking about investing in an e-bike? Here’s what you need to know.
What’s good about ‘em
Electric bikes encourage non- cyclists to start cycling. As electric bikes take some of the pressure off pedalling so the whole process is easier and less exhausting, the bikes can help new, less fit riders ease into cycling. They can also encourage the rider to cycle for a longer period of time so they actually get more exercise because the safety net of assisted peddling is there if necessary.
Electric bikes take the edge off hills. If you want to cycle somewhere but you don’t want to tackle a huge hill, the electric bike can take some of the pressure off the uphill ride so it’s less daunting and exhausting.
Riding an electric bike as opposed to a normal bike during the morning commute still lets you enjoy the fresh air but won’t make you all sweaty and exhausted.
With an electric bike, you get to choose how much effort you put in. Some people say e-bikes are cheating, but you still have to pedal and if you want you can avoid using any assistance at all.
They’re easy to charge. If you have a plug and an outlet, you can charge the bike.
Electric bikes encourage you to get back in touch with nature, discover cycling trails near your home and spend more time in the fresh air.
They’re also a lot cheaper than cars, plus they’re better for the environment.
What’s bad about ‘em
They can run out. Electric bikes can run for over 30 miles on a single charge, but if they run out and you’re too tired to pedal normally you may be a bit stuck.
E-bikes are fairly light, but they’re still bulkier and heavier than regular bikes.
They’re not great for long journeys. E-bikes are good for short commutes, but if you want to spend the day cycling you may end up with a dead battery.
E-bikes have more components, so there’s a higher risk that something will break.
How Treadmills Help You Keep Your Health in Check
If the idea of jogging outside in the cold while watching lyric-wearing fitness fanatics zoom past you doesn’t sound great you’ll be pleased to know that running on a treadmill offers the same health benefits as running outside. Here is how running on a treadmill can keep you healthy.
Jogging is a form of cardiovascular exercise which gives your heart a workout and gets your blood pumping. Cardiovascular exercise is important for maintaining a healthy heart and good blood circulation, plus it also makes you fitter which in turn increases your health and quality of life.
Go At Your Own Pace
The great thing about treadmills is that you can start off as slow as you want and gradually build up your fitness level without being thrown in the deep end. More exercise is generally better than less, but anything that encourages you to get moving (even if you just start walking on the treadmill while watching TV) will improve your health in the long run.
Incline & Natural Movement
Treadmills allow you to control the speed and incline so you can challenge yourself to run faster and work on your mountain climbing skills, but they still allow a natural running motion which stops you accidently cheating by relying too much on the machine. The incline also increases stamina and will help you deal with real-life inclines like stairs and hills.
Treadmills can burn 100 calories every ten minutes, so they are a good source of weight loss. You also have the option of increasing the speed on a treadmill which is perfect for high intensity work outs. HIIT makes your body work harder and often yields faster results, so instead of jogging for half an hour, you could up the speed and push yourself to the max for 45 seconds before returning to a more comfortable level.
Kind On Joints
Running on a treadmill puts less pressure on the body than running on a flat outdoor surface so it’s a good alternative if you are concerned about your joints.
Running on a treadmill released endorphins which make you happier and decrease stress. Mental health is as important as physical health, so a healthy way of being happy sounds like a win win.