How to live longer
If your doctor offered you magic pill that would help prevent dementia, type-2 diabetes, some cancers, depression, heart disease, hypertension and other serious common conditions – reducing the risk of each by at least 30%. Would you take the pill? Ooh and there are no negative side effects.
What if this magic pill was available to everyone, on-demand at no cost, and could also help save the NHS over £18bn, a saving of at least 15% of the overall NHS budget. What if this magic pill could also help plug the £30bn funding gap that the NHS face by 2020?
This intervention also has additional benefits, it lifts your mood, helps you stay younger for longer, improves sleep quality, it boosts your cognitive function, helps remove stress from your life, aids weight loss and in many cases, it will improve pain management.
What is this miracle cure? Dr Mike Evans explains in the following video;
10 Reasons to Invest 30 Minutes a Day
- Improve your mood. Exercise promotes the growth of new hormones in the hippocampus, a brain area closely linked to learning and memory. Further, there’s evidence that it can boost healthy brain activity, when brain chemicals that affect mood like serotonin and endorphins are out of balance, exercise can help restore balance. In a Cochrane review the Chief Medical Officer’s annual report stated that exercise may be as effective as medication in treatment of depression. Exercise also increases your brain’s production of endorphins, the “feel-good” neurotransmitters that are responsible for the coveted “runner’s high.” This creates the sense of well-being and feel good factor that many people experience after exercise.
- Spend time with friends and family. Get a dog or an exercise buddy! People who regularly walk a dog are 34% more likely to get sufficient exercise. Or even better hook up with a friend with a dog and benefit from some social interaction. People who exercise with others and more likely to keep it up. It is also a great way to catch up with friends and find out what is going on in their world. A recent study from the university of Glasgow, revealed, people who commute in an active way, particularly by cycling, are 46% less likely to develop heart disease, 45% less likely to get cancer and 41% lower risk of premature death from any cause, compared to those who drove or took public transport. Join a walking group or create a family activity.
- Improve your posture. Standing up during work. Many companies are now introducing chair free desks. This can help burn 100 plus calories a day. The crucial thing is how your body burns those calories, standing up activates muscles in your legs, back and feet, working these muscles a little throughout the day will not only help your muscles and joints but also your balance.
- Sharpen your cognitive function. Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain, giving the brain more of the glucose, oxygen and nutrients it needs to do its work. People who exercise do better on just about every mental test possible, including reasoning, problem-solving and quick thinking. It also increases concentration levels.
- Stay younger for longer. The more physically active we are, the less biological aging takes place in our bodies. The recent BBC 1 programme ‘How To Stay Young’ found, poor lifestyle choices age people, better choices about physical activity, diet and sleep can fight the ageing progress and in some cases cut more than a decade off their body age.
- Sleep better. A nationally representative study of men and women, ages 18-85, found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, which is the national guideline, provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. People also said they felt less sleepy during the day, compared to those with less physical activity. The study, was published in the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity.
- Handle stress better. When we mind wander, 60% of the time it is to worry about a negative thought. Physical activity can also help take our mind off our worries. The repetitive motions involved in exercise promote a focus on your body, rather than your mind. By concentrating on the rhythm of your movements, you experience many of the same benefits of meditation while working out. Focusing on a single physical task can produce a sense of energy and optimism. This focus can help provide calmness and clarity. it helps keep blood sugar levels and cholesterol at bay.
- Lose weight. Most people will lose weight if they exercise and make sensible diet choices. How people respond to exercise and how it affects appetite and food intake varies between individuals. Some people may become hungrier and eat more which can prevent weight loss. In general exercise will increase the number of calories you burn and help you lose body fat. When losing weight, you want to maximize fat loss while minimizing muscle loss.
- Have fun. Everyone is different, one persons fun might not be for another, so find what works for you, here are some suggestions. Take a dancing class, cut the grass, play with the kids, hoover the house, do the garden, challenge a friend to a racket and ball game (or shuttlecock), stick on some music and do the house work or have a silent disco with friends, go ice skating, go to a water park or swimming pool, play a musical instrument, plan activities with friends, join a sports team or take up bowling, take the stairs instead of the escalator, park the car far away from where you are going, take your own walking tour of your city or park, offer to help others with tasks they need to do, plan something new every week. Oh, and don’t forget sex burns calories too I’m sure you can think of some of your own? Whatever you think of make sure you plan it into your week and most of all make it fun.
- Less Pain. Exercise can lead to improvement in pain conditions by 25 -52%. There is evidence that physical activity can reduce the severity of pain, improve physical function, and have a variable effect on both psychological function and quality of life.
So, can you limit your sitting and sleeping to 23 ½ hours a day?
For more information:
Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (2015) Exercise: The miracle cure and the role of the doctor in promoting it ; aomrc.org.uk
Department of Health (2011) Start Active, Stay Active ; gov.uk (updated 2016)