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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 September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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