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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 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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