Arguments for the benefits of regular exercise. Lowering cholesterol levels. Decreased triglyceride levels. Reducing the risk of high blood pressure. Prevention of inflammation. Improving the condition of the blood vessels. Reducing the risk of diabetes. Colon Cancer Prevention. Strengthening bones. Weight loss. Longevity.
In his youth, the average man devotes a sufficient amount of time to physical exercise. His mood improves from the loads received in the gym, and he likes that unobtrusive state of fatigue and self-esteem when they are over. He naively believes that training and the benefits it brings will always remain a part of his life.
However, after reaching a certain age, the average man gets married, has children, takes on a responsible position that requires a lot of time and finds a million excuses for himself when he misses another workout. For some time, a middle-aged man convinces himself that, as before, he remains in good shape, despite the few pounds he gained. He also does not deny that his blood pressure readings have risen by several marks, but he continues to consider himself quite healthy.
By the age of forty, the average man already weighs ten kilograms more than he weighed during his student days. Blood pressure indicators gradually "jump" into the risk zone, and the level of cholesterol in the blood borders on the "alarm line". At such moments, the man for some reason recalls that his father, at the age of 67, was taking medications simultaneously for arterial hypertension and for lowering cholesterol levels, and two years earlier he was urgently operated on for his heart due to sudden shortness of breath during a bike ride. And then the man realizes that he does not like such a prospect. To avoid such an unpleasant fate, he decides to return to training.
Moderate workouts are within the power of even the most adamant lovers of lying in front of the TV.
Most middle-aged men know firsthand that when family and work take longer and longer, regular gym visits are gradually dropped off the list of priorities. No one denies that exercise is important. However, when it comes to mowing the lawn and taking the kids to the zoo, it gets harder to put on training shoes and go for a run. In the end, the question arises: "Why do I need this?"
There is one good reason. Keeping fit is the only way to stay healthy and extend your life so that you can enjoy family life and everything else that you work so hard for. Medical and sports publications offer so many arguments for exercising regularly that a gym membership seems like the most important health investment you can make. If pharmaceutical companies were able to invent an anti-aging drug that provides even a tiny fraction of what we get from exercise, everyone, without exception, would take it.
It's no secret that physical activity contributes to the proper functioning of the heart and lungs. However, not many people know that regular exercise can also save a middle-aged man from type 2 diabetes, as well as improve the condition of the musculoskeletal system and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. In addition, exercising has a measurably positive effect on the manifestations of depression.
If the above arguments aren't enough to get you off the couch, take 15 minutes of your time to read the following material and you will learn how you can benefit from moderate but regular exercise.
Powerful Argument # 1: Lowering Cholesterol Levels
With age, most men experience an increase in cholesterol levels outside the normal range. This happens as follows: the level of "bad" cholesterol (low density lipoprotein, or LDL) gradually increases, and the content of "good" cholesterol (high density lipoprotein, or HDL) - on the contrary, decreases. Unfortunately, such an unfavorable imbalance of these substances in the body is one of the most dangerous risk factors for the development of heart disease. Excess cholesterol collects on the inner wall of blood vessels, which leads to the development of arthrosclerosis and increases the risk of myocardial infarction. To keep your "bad" cholesterol (LDL) levels within the normal range, it is recommended that you avoid eating foods high in saturated fat (red meat and high-fat dairy products). However, regular exercise is essential to keep your "good" cholesterol (HDL) levels from dropping. In a 2007 study in the Netherlands of 835 men, high-density lipoprotein levels rose by 4.6% in regular gym participants, which is enough to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.
Powerful Argument # 2: Lower Triglyceride Levels
Triglycerides are esters of glycerol with fatty acids present in adipose tissue. Increases in blood levels of this substance have been associated with the risk of heart disease. In the course of the aforementioned study, it was noted that men with the highest physical activity not only increased the level of "good" cholesterol (HDL), but also significantly decreased the level of triglycerides.
Powerful Argument # 3: Reducing Your Risk of High Blood Pressure
As blood pressure rises, the risk of cardiovascular disease and myocardial infarction increases. However, as they age, most men have higher blood pressure than normal. According to a 15-year follow-up, published in 2007 by the University of Minnesota, USA, the higher the physical activity of the participants, the less often they developed hypertension.
Powerful Argument # 4: Preventing Inflammation
Regular exercise can help lower levels of C-reactive protein, which is a sensitive indicator of tissue damage from inflammation. The fact is that cholesterol-rich platelets that collect on the inner walls of arteries are most likely to break away from them and provoke a heart attack when they become inflamed. A 2006 study found that active and regular male athletes had significantly lower levels of C-reactive protein, as well as other indicators of inflammation, than their passive counterparts.
Powerful Argument # 5: Improving Blood Vessel Health
For healthy functioning in the face of ever-changing oxygen levels in the blood, blood vessels must be elastic enough to expand and contract freely. Smoking, the accumulation of cholesterol, and the usual aging process lead to a decrease in vascular elasticity and an increased risk of heart attack. Many studies have shown that constant exercise helps maintain blood vessels in the condition necessary for proper functioning, which is due to the adaptation of blood vessels to varying physical loads.
Powerful Argument # 6: Reducing the Risk of Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (occurring in adulthood) is the result of excessive amounts of body fat. Regular exercise will help you shed extra pounds and keep your weight consistently at the same level. Research shows that even those who are overweight or obese, regular exercise can significantly reduce the risk of diabetes. As part of the diabetes prevention campaign, it was noted that over three years, with the help of regular physical activity, the risk of developing diabetes mellitus II decreased by 58%, and the volunteers of this program did not run a marathon at all. The exercises that they performed on the load can be equated to a short walk.
Powerful Argument # 7: Colon Cancer Prevention
Colon cancer is the most common cancer with death. According to experts, approximately 80% of deaths from this merciless disease were preventable. Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fiber and whole grains in the diet is a major preventative measure. Studies have shown that regular exercise is just as important as a properly balanced diet, as exercise can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 30-40%.
Powerful Argument # 8: Stronger Bones
One of the unpleasant side effects of the aging process is thinning of the bones, which increases the risk of cracks and fractures. In a study of 3262 men between the ages of 40 and 60 over 20 years, there was a significant reduction in the risk of hip fractures.
Powerful Argument # 9: Weight Loss
If banal self-esteem isn't enough to inspire you to go to the gym, consider this: Regular physical activity in the form of daily walks for half an hour can prevent your "belly" from hanging over your trouser belt. As part of the Population Weight Control Program, a special study was conducted: experts observed the habits and lifestyle of three thousand volunteers who lost more than 10% of their weight and were able to maintain themselves in this shape for more than a year. The results showed that eight out of ten participants met the goal due to increased physical activity. They stepped up the following exercises: walking, cycling, weightlifting and aerobics, jogging, climbing stairs, which was enough to burn an additional 3298 calories per week.
Several recent studies have also shown that men with regular physical activity have noticeably smaller waist measurements. For example, in a 2006 study, a group of 58 volunteers walked ten thousand steps daily for 36 weeks. As a result, the waist volume has decreased on average by 2-3 centimeters - the same as the volume of the hips.
Powerful Argument # 10: Longevity
If we summarize all the above arguments, we get an effective recipe for longevity. In a Finnish university in 2004, the results of a 20-year study were obtained, in which 15,853 volunteers (men) between the ages of 30 and 59 were active and exercised regularly. Their physical activities included jogging, skiing, swimming, ball games, or regular gardening. As a result, 21% of participants significantly reduced their risk of developing cardiovascular disease or any other fatal disease.
What would be the workloads to be of such benefit?
The load and training frequency depend mainly on your goals. If you burn 1000 calories a week through exercise, you can extend your life. In order to significantly reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes, half-hour walks are recommended most days of the week. Remember, the more exercise you do systematically and regularly, the better you will feel. The result always depends on the efforts made.