Yes folks, you read that right – I strongly feel that if you are going to make any change in your lifestyle, I would suggest exercising instead of improving your diet. Below you’ll find my no-nonsense reasons why (I apologize ahead of time for my bluntness):
Back in 2000 I was a student athletic therapist at a sports injury clinic with a very large geriatric population. Over that year I treated a lot of injuries – things like frozen shoulder, wrist fractures and other injuries. Most of the injuries resulted from falls. Our rehab focused on restoring their functional ability, increasing their range of motion and getting our clients back to being able to care for themselves. a lot of our clients had lost their independence and could barely walk as a result of their injuries. It was a really sad thing to watch all day – but rewarding to help the people too.
The one thought that played in my head every day was: WHY?
- Why were these people falling?
- Why were they getting injured?
- Why did they have frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)?
The answer: LACK OF MOVEMENT
Exercise helps with MANY things that are critical for longevity things that simply eating “healthy” can’t do for you.
- increases strength
- increases balance (proprioception aka kinesthetic awareness)
- increases flexibility
- increases cardiovascular endurance
- increases muscular endurance
- increases LDL (good cholesterol)
- reduces HDL (bad cholesterol)
- increases mental capablility
- reduces blood pressure
- helps you to feel good
I could provide you with a much more extensive list, but I’m sure you get the point I’m making. Truth be told, a fall in the later years of life causes a loss of mobility. When you lose that mobility other parts of your body begin to shut down, ie: your heart can no longer get the exercise it needs to pump blood through you effectively.
Don’t believe me? Then go read the results of this study:
Exercise is critical to longevity and maintaining independence – I want to live long enough to CHASE my grandchildren the way my dad chases my kids, don’t you?