Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Exercise and Live Longer?

In the news today is research from Sweden suggesting exercise in middle age significantly reduces the chances of people suffering dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The study also suggests exercise prevents high blood pressure and the reduced likelihood of Diabetes.

We all know it makes sense to keep physically fit throughout our lives.

Both Annie and I were smokers until early 2004. We decided to make a big effort to keep fit and do regular exercise. The money we spent on cigarettes was far in excess of our combined monthly subscriptions fees for our gym.

Of course there is never an absolute guarantee of long life and all we can do is to work to improve the odds of living a long and relatively healthy life. We both feel exercise has now become such an integral part of our lives – without being obsessive about it – that we now cannot imagine a week going by when we do not visit our gym at least twice as well as running 5 km at least twice a week.

Unless you are blind or in denial, you can see an increasing incidence of obesity in our population, particularly among the younger generation. You rarely see very old people who are obese or smokers – my own, perhaps cynical view, is that the obese and the smokers have already died!

It surely makes sense to place more emphasis on promoting exercise to our young people to prevent problems that otherwise await them in middle and older age.

Yes it may sound boring and yes it may sound a little bit like ‘nanny state’ but the great news is that exercise can be fun; something you look forward to; and something you miss when you do not do it. Everyone of course has an individual choice about this and the freedom to make choices is something I advocate strongly and defend strongly.

We have made a conscious decision to work to improve the odds.


Felix Gerena said...

I go to the gym three days a week and I like it. I feel in a much better shape, both physically and mentally. Though I don´t know if it is worth the effort after the predictions over the next avian flu pandemic. Really scaring! No future,like in the Sex Pistols song?

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Felix - Always worth keeping fit my friend. This Avian flu will no doubt challenge healthcare throughout the world but I am an optimist. We have choices about our health just like everything else. We can sit passively and watch ourselves grow old too soon or we can try to stay fit and young. As I said it guarantees nothing but it increases the odds of living longer. I hope predictions about Avian flu are exaggerated but if not we must keep fit to fight it!!

Take care Felix and stay fit :-) - much work to do for all of us.

Mike said...

It is unfortunate, but true that the vast majority of deaths due to HV51 flu will be among the poor. Access to proper vaccines, good health care, and well-developed immune systems are pretty much first world advantages these days.

My advice--stay healthy and move out of urban areas.

Trevor Gay said...

Always the case over here too Mike that the poorer you are, the worse health status you have - a sad but true fact of life.

Peter said...

My 2 cents, very late in time :

Mankind has 2 optipns. Either get busy living or get busy dying !!

I choose the former myself. Tai-chi everydat for 15 min. A 2km walk 3 times a week and 2 days in the gym

Yeah pushing the bar to 40 odd plus , but hey no gray hair yet and I still have to pushback the fillies and lewt them know that I am twice their age and old enough to be their poppy !!

Now ant that life eh ?? :)-

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Peter

I want to die running a marathon alongside Annie when I am 98 years of age:-)