Posts Tagged benefits of exercise

Some Benefits Of Exercise You Hadn’t Thought About

Here is another NYTimes article that promises the fountain of youth if you just drink some exercise. It’s based on research of mice that is supposedly and hopefully extrapolatory to humans.

Even before I began this site, I was certain that exercise is good for your health. Seems so obvious, even if I couldn’t make myself do regular exercise in past decades. Lots of good excuses. So now I am going to give you incredible excerpts from this article that should make even the youngest person motivated to do something active many times a week. And I am not making fun of the evidence in the article, nor its author, Gretchen Reynolds. I just can’t help finding the humor in some of these conclusions.

“…While Dr. Tarnopolsky, a lifelong athlete, noted with satisfaction that active, aged mice kept their hair, his younger graduate students were far more interested in the animals’ robust gonads. Their testicles and ovaries hadn’t shrunk, unlike those of sedentary elderly mice.

Dr. Tarnopolsky’s students were impressed. “I think they all exercise now,” he said…

By the time they reached 8 months, or their early 60s in human terms, the animals were extremely frail and decrepit, with spindly muscles, shrunken brains, enlarged hearts, shriveled gonads and patchy, graying fur. Listless, they barely moved around their cages. All were dead before reaching a year of age.

Except the mice that exercised.

Half of the mice were allowed to run on a wheel for 45 minutes three times a week, beginning at 3 months. These rodent runners were required to maintain a fairly brisk pace, Dr. Tarnopolsky said: “It was about like a person running a 50- or 55-minute 10K.” (A 10K race is 6.2 miles.) The mice continued this regimen for five months.

At 8 months, when their sedentary lab mates were bald, frail and dying, the running rats remained youthful. They had full pelts of dark fur, no salt-and-pepper shadings. They also had maintained almost all of their muscle mass and brain volume. Their gonads were normal, as were their hearts. They could balance on narrow rods, the showoffs…

Other studies, including a number from Dr. Tarnopolsky’s own lab, have also found that exercise affects the course of aging, but none has shown such a comprehensive effect. And precisely how exercise alters the aging process remains unknown…

Although there is probably a threshold amount of exercise that is necessary to affect physiological aging, Dr. Tarnopolsky said, “anything is better than nothing.” If you haven’t been active in the past, he continued, start walking five minutes a day, then begin to increase your activity level.”

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Exercise And Good Diet Can Help Dodge Cancer

A recent government study said the best way to become healthier is to “eat less.” Duhhhhhh. Now here is another report that describes how “About a third of all common cancers in the United States, China and Britain could be prevented each year if people ate healthier food, drank less alcohol and exercised more. That’s pretty obvious too.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) says regular exercise can prevent many diseases such as cancers, heart diseases and diabetes…and adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. This could be done by walking for 30 minutes five times per week or by cycling to work every day…Low levels of physical activity are the main cause of an estimated 21 to 25 percent of breast and colon cancers, 27 percent of diabetes cases and 30 percent of heart disease cases worldwide.”

The advice of this study is a non-issue for some of us. Yesterday before an hour of heavy snow shoveling off the roof, I played tennis twice—two hours each time—and two of the women in my afternoon doubles game had also played tennis that morning. One of them plays eight times some weeks.

I know there a millions of people who DO exercise and eat healthfully and still get cancer or die from heart attacks and strokes. Bad breaks for sure. But those who ignore this advice are just asking for trouble. The question I can try to answer in another post is “Why don’t people don’t make more diet decisions and undertake more physical activities that are good for them? Are they just self-destructive? Too lazy? Focused only on the short-term, immediate gratification experience?”

Here are more excerpts from this Reuters article:

“It is distressing that even in 2011, people are dying unnecessarily from cancers that could be prevented through maintaining a healthy weight, diet, physical activity and other lifestyle factors,” Martin Wiseman, a World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) medical and scientific adviser, said in statement. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wall Street Journal Is My New Sports Hero By Billie Jean King

Just bumped into this story encouraging regular exercise by Billie Jean King, Founder, Women’s Sports Foundation. Posted: January 7, 2010 on the Huffington Post

I’m not big on hero worship, but I may have to re-think my position.

“The Hidden Benefits of Exercise,”the cover story in the “Personal Journal” section of the Wall Street Journal (January 5, 2010), almost made me swoon (

There it was — everything our Women’s Sports Foundation has been saying for decades: “Even moderate physical activity can boost the immune system and protect against chronic disease.” Yes!

Other studies show that exercise

— lowers the risk of stroke by 27%,

— reduces the incidence of diabetes by approximately 50%,

— reduces the incidence of high-blood pressure by approximately 40%,

— can reduce mortality and the risk of recurrent breast cancer by approximately 50%,

— can lower the risk of colon cancer by over 60%, and

— can reduce the risk of developing the risk of developing the Alzheimer’s disease by approximately 40%.

Game, set and match. Less colds and flu, too. How can you beat those odds?

I urge you to share your healthy living story with me, because it is important to me to know what you are doing to improve your life. You can write to me at and I will send you a link to the Women’s Sports Foundation’s new study on health called Her Life Depends on It.

Go for it and happy new year of exercise and health to everyone.

You can read more words of wisdom by Billie Jean on this site: Competition and Its Importance In Your Life( and Tennis And Life (

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