Did you do your daily exercise today? Good for you! We all know we should exercise. It’s easy to find “excuses not to” though, and when we go to bed, we have a mild feeling of guilt (toward future self, I guess). But after overcoming stress and reconciling conflicting priorities, how many years are we really living longer with exercise? Has anybody actually got the numbers? Here’s the report you’ve been waiting for.
Physical activity prolongs life expectancy
A study of 650,000 individuals over the age of 40 years investigated the associations between lifestyle factors and disease risk. They used these and other data to calculate the gain in life expectancy associated with specific levels of physical activity. A physical activity level equivalent to brisk walking for up to 75 minutes per week was associated with a gain of 1.8 years in life expectancy relative to no activity. The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week in the “Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health.” The research showed that being active, to the level of physical activity the WHO recommends, was associated with a gain of life expectancy of 3.4 to 4.5 years. Gains in life expectancy were seen also for black individuals and former smokers, groups for whom relatively little data had been previously available. This association of physical activity and life expectancy was also evident at all BMI (Body Mass Index)* levels. Being active and normal weight was associated with a gain of 7.2 years of life compared to being inactive and “class II+ obese” (having a BMI of more than 35)! However, even if weight is normal, being inactive was associated with 3.1 fewer years of life compared to “class I obese” (having a BMI of 30–34.9) who were active. And the result was even more encouraging—the relationship between exercise and longevity is not a “Zero sum” game—you get rewarded whenever you do it. Participation in physical activity, even below the “recommended level”, was associated with a reduced risk of mortality, compared to no participation in physical activity. The result suggests even a modest physical activity program has health benefits, even if it does not result in weight loss. So, you might not want to use a scale as a motivator—at least at the beginning. You are getting the benefits, even though the needle on the scale is too stubborn to move.
How Green Tea helps you to exercise efficiently and live longer
Here’s another tip that might help you keep on course: Drink green tea every day. Green tea offers you a whole variety of benefits for your health. Green tea provides preventive activity against lifestyle-related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Abundant data suggests green tea also has preventive effects on chronic inflammatory diseases. In fact, a daily habit of green tea consumption may reduce the risk of all-cause mortality. Green tea’s association with prolongation of lifespan has been explained in many scientific reports, including “A new function of green tea: prevention of lifestyle-related diseases” studied by Japanese researchers. According to the World Health Statistics 2017 report released by WHO, Japanese current life expectancy is the highest in the world—83.7 years, which is 6.8 years longer than the United States. Green tea is the most popularly consumed drink in Japan and is considered one of the important factors of Japanese longevity. Green tea is also a good friend to have when you do exercise:
- Green tea enhances mood (to facilitate you to start to move),
- Green tea helps burn fat faster by increasing metabolism ,
- Green tea increases endurance and helps you keep moving, and
- Green tea detoxes you by neutralizing free radicals.
Free radicals are toxic byproducts of oxygen metabolism that cause significant damage to living cells and tissues in a process called “oxidative stress.” Free radicals are created either from normal essential metabolic processes in the human body (more exercise, more free radicals!), or from external sources such as exposure to X-rays, ozone, cigarette smoking, air pollutants, and industrial chemicals. Chilled green tea is very refreshing and easy to make if you use green tea powder. Just grab a chilled water bottle, scoop in green tea powder, either Matcha or Sencha powder, about ½ tsp. per 8 oz., and shake it up until well combined. The whole process won’t take more than 15 seconds. You would like to choose Organic Japanese Green Tea and this is another subject to talk about. Adopting both an active lifestyle and green tea will help you stay healthy and live longer. But always check with your doctor before suddenly being more active and take it step by step. Keep track of your progress, you are likely to be pleasantly surprised! *BMI is a measure of body fat, is commonly used to determine whether your weight is healthy using the calculation of body weight in relation to height. Normal weight is defined as a BMI of 18.5–24.9; overweight is between 25 and 29.9; obesity is defined as a BMI of more than 30. HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR BMI (BODY MASS INDEX) BMI = weight (lb) / height2 (in2) x 703
- Multiply your height in inches by itself.
- Divide your weight in pounds by the result from step 1.
- Multiply the result from step 2 by 703.
Example: BMI for a person who is 5’3” and weighs 125 lbs.
- 5’3” is 63”. 63×63=3969
- 125 / 3969=0.0314
- 0314×703=22.07 This person’s BMI is 22.07
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Meet the Author: Kiyomi