BG2: Want to live longer? Apply within

…there’s no denying that the ageing process exists.

For most of us, it actually starts in our late 20s, after our initial burst of growth and development.

Once we peak, we must all face a very gradual physical decline.

Even for top sportsmen, at the summit of physical fitness, the ageing process will soon start to kick in, by reducing by one per cent every year the maximum rate at which the heart can beat.

This may sound a lot. But even at the age of 70, if you’re otherwise fit, you’d probably only notice the difference if you tried to exercise flat-out to the absolute limit. (And I wouldn’t advise trying that.)

The truth is that most of the limitations that older people experience are not caused by ageing itself — but by the way people choose to live their lives as they grow old.

There you go.  One of the reasons we’re living longer is because we are no longer sitting down and giving up after a ‘long hard life’.   

…the good news is that with a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle, you can help reduce those limitations — allowing you to defy the years by staying healthy and active right into your 70s and beyond.

As Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, puts it: ‘We now know that we can postpone many problems that we have assumed to be due to ageing but which well-designed research now proves to be due to loss of fitness, preventable disease and loss of morale’.

Most of us get sick and die because we think that the condition we are in is simply a result of our age and something that can not be avoided.

If you can go for an hour’s brisk walk without being out of breath, take care of your body to the point where you escape preventable diseases, and you look forward to life rather than looking back, everything else will slot into place.

The three golden rules:

No matter what age you are, it’s seldom too late to start regaining some of your youthful energy, strength, flexibility and appearance.

There are three crucial elements that will increase your chances of having a relatively trouble-free and independent old age.

– You have to become fitter — even if you already have one or more long-term conditions.
– You must actively reduce your risk of developing disease
– You need to adopt a positive attitude to life, its problems and opportunities.

All three of these goals are realistically within your grasp.

And don’t worry: they don’t involve wearing Lycra, going on a starvation diet, or chanting every day before breakfast.

Blubbergeddon is not just about losing weight.  Losing weight is simply one of the hugely important steps to take if you want to actively reduce your risk of developing disease, and you will find it easier to be fitter when you aren’t permanently carrying another child (or two) around.

Blubbergeddon is also not about quick fixes.  If you’re out of breath checking the letterbox, nobody expects you to run a marathon in a few months.

Blubbergeddon is about being a little healthier than a week ago, a little fitter than a week ago, a little more happy than a week ago – and then time takes care of the rest.

 

– Sir Muir Gray, Mail Online


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