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How Doing Exercise Makes You Younger

How Doing Exercise Makes You Younger

Can doing exercise regularly make you younger? The answer from all the health experts seems to be a resounding yes. We will look at why this is true, but for the moment, reflect on the advantages of staving off old age. Just think, you could have a firmer, fitter body, healthy glowing skin, stronger bones, and a lower risk of depression. But more than half of all adults in the USA are not getting enough exercise, according to a CDC report.

Some experts are now saying that those who exercise with regularity could live for 10 years longer than couch potatoes. So, a longer life is a great bonus, but even better is the fact that you are less likely to get diabetes, cancer, or have a heart attack. Talk about a fountain of youth!

Exercise helps your circulation

What happens when you go jogging or do your aerobic workout at the gym? The blood vessels in your muscles respond to the increased pressure by getting larger and they can take on more oxygenated blood. The process helps to divert the blood supply to less essential organs such as the stomach and kidneys. The working muscles are now getting the maximum benefit. The heart muscle which is doing most of the donkey work will become more efficient and help to optimize blood circulation.

The benefits of an improved circulation system will help to keep blood pressure levels normal, tone the muscles and also the lungs. Any type of exercise such as walking, cycling, dancing, yoga or swimming will do the trick.

How exercise promotes cell growth

As we age, our cell renewal process inevitably slows down. Telomeres (from the Greek telos ‘end’ and meros ‘part’) are an essential part of the repetitive DNA which protects the end of the chromosomes from deterioration. Someone has said it is rather like having a plastic end to the shoelace which prevents it from unravelling. The longer the telomeres, the more efficient is cell creation.

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Researchers found that couch potatoes had shorter telomeres than those who regularly exercised. The study involved over 2,000 sets of twins and confirmed that those who exercised were likely to remain more youthful and live longer.

Exercise keeps the brain in great condition

An essential aspect of staying young is to have a healthy, active brain. Once you start exercising, the brain begins to feel the benefit of the increased blood flow which helps to keep the cells healthy. Most people after exercise feel more focused and children have done better on tests.

One test, conducted by the University of Minnesota followed 2,700 men and women for over 25 years. Those who had done sport in their teens were scoring better on mental tests when they reached their fifties.

Helping your brain cell production is a great way to ward off Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Exercise gives you glowing skin

Most people associate glowing, radiant skin with facelifts and miraculous creams. They do not realize that when you exercise, the revved up circulation is getting essential oxygen and other nutrients to the skin. The muscles are toned so that the skin is less likely to sag. In addition, your own collagen which keeps the skin compact and firm is also regenerated. Some studies have shown that it may also help to reduce acne.

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Do not forget to use an effective sunblock if you like to exercise in the sun. Experts agree that in order to get your essential daily dose of Vitamin D, you just need to stay in sunlight for fifteen minutes. Do not worry about the sunblock interfering with this process. Dermatologists at the King’s College, London, Institute of Dermatology have reassured us on this.

Exercise helps your bone density

“It takes skill to fall on flat surfaces” – Anon

Who wants old bones which are brittle and break when you fall? Preserving strong bones is the best way to avoid fractures. The best type of exercise to help bones stay strong are those that involve some weight resistance, such as:

* Walking

* Hiking

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* Weight lifting

* Jogging

* Walking up the stairs

* Dancing

* Tennis.

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Exercise helps to prevent depression

When you do any exercise, the good mood endorphins such as serotonin and dopamine are released. They help to put you in a good mood. It is no accident that you always feel more cheerful and upbeat after doing exercise.

Exercise can make you feel better and lessen depression symptoms. Scientists are not exactly sure why this is the case but there are countless examples of its efficacy.

Now, you know why everybody is talking about exercise. It really can help you stay younger and enjoy a longer life. You have no excuse now!

Featured photo credit: Younger/Daniel Oines via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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