Exercise: The Secret to Staying Young?

Sunday May 28, 2023

I don’t just market and advertise within the exercise and fitness industry. I actually live and breathe the lifestyle too. Countless studies indicate that regular exercise has the potential to extend longevity (and also improve the overall quality of life in those later years!).

Exercise is the magic pill we all want and crave. And this is why I’m so passionate about it—and about helping fitness organizations help others lead fulfilling and long-lasting lives.

So, let’s take a moment and appreciate exercise for all it is. Instead of approaching physical activity as another “chore” or “to-do,” let’s be grateful we have the opportunity to move our bodies and proactively improve our health and longevity. How does exercise extend our lives? What can we focus on to make exercise a habit (like brushing our teeth) instead of a chore?

The Studies Are In: Regular Exercise Lowers Multiple Modern Mortality Risks

Research indicates that regular exercise can help lower the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer. With heart disease and cancer at the top of the list of the leading causes of death, this should be motivation alone to get that exercise habit going.

On top of this, countless other studies also demonstrate a significant reduction in depression symptoms with the incorporation of exercise. In other words, physical activity enhances our longevity and also enhances our quality of life.

Then, there’s the never-ending list of other benefits that exercise offers, such as improved respiratory and cardiovascular function, increased muscle mass (translating into better metabolic health and easy weight maintenance), improved bone health, and improved function and movement for performing daily activities or tasks.

While I could go on about all of these benefits, it’s also important to note that exercise alone isn’t the answer to good health. A balanced, healthy, and whole foods diet is the other half of the equation, giving way to optimal health and well-being.

Starting An Exercise Habit

So now that we’ve got the benefits out of the way, I wanted to offer a few tricks and tips I’ve learned over the years when it comes to building regular exercise habits. Here are some things I’ve learned:

  • Find something you enjoy and look forward to (For me, this is yoga!)
  • If you have trouble exercising after work or later in the day (Life gets busy!), carve out time for moving your body first thing.
  • Start small. Remember, everyone starts somewhere. Even one day a week is pushing the needle forward (and giving you a base to build from!).
  • Plan and schedule your exercise sessions.
  • Avoid being “perfect.” You will miss a session here or there. It’s about hitting your targets 80% of the time—not 100.
  • Even a 15-minute workout beats no workout at all.
  • You are your biggest cheerleader. Ignore what everyone else might be thinking. Cheer yourself on, and only compare to yourself (not anyone else).
  • Surround yourself with other active individuals. This can provide motivation and also make exercise an opportunity to connect.

Lastly, remind yourself that this isn’t just about getting fit or looking fit. Exercise is about looking after yourself and your physical and mental health. It can add years to your life! Who doesn’t want that?