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The secret to good health forever!
March 21, 2005
itting your 30 soon? This is the right time for you to start exercising!
A new study conducted by researchers at University College, London, suggests that physical activity in your 30s leads to fitness in old age. "Participation in a physically active lifestyle appears to be critical to preserving high physical function in relatively fit, healthy, middle-aged men and women," said lead researcher Dr Melvyn Hillsdon.
Researchers looked at a young, healthy group comprising 6,398 adults.
A follow-up period of nearly nine years allowed researchers to associate present physical activity with future physical function.
Using results from questionnaires and medical screenings, researchers analysed physical function, chronic disease history, fitness indicators, lifestyle habits, medical test results and work status.
Participants were classed as sufficiently active, insufficiently active or sedentary.
Sufficiently active participants engaged in at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate activity or one hour of vigorous activity a week.
The sufficiently active "were more likely to report no limitations in physical function" compared to their sedentary counterparts, said Hillsdon.
Even those who started with chronic illness and poor physical function maintained better function with higher activity.
Conversely, being free of chronic illness or disease did not counteract the long-term effects of being sedentary.
With the onset of kids, job pressure and other responsibilities, many people tend to neglect exercise. They lead sedentary lifestyles, which lead to health problems like high blood pressure, cholesterol, arthritis, etc.
Women are especially inclined towards health problems due to menopause.
Thus the need to exercise both to keep in shape and in good health is important.
Samreedhi Sharma, who runs her exercise studio Sizewise, feels exercise is a very important part of the wellness bouquet for every person: "A combination of cardio and weight-training is must. The latter helps to preserve the density of the bones, which tend to become weak as one grows older."
Sharma suggests some useful tips to get you started:
1. Don't resort to an exercise regime without consulting a fitness professional. If you just start jogging every day, you may pressure your bones and hurt yourself.
2. It is advisable to join a gym for around six months, and practise a regime recommended by a trainer.
Second, a professional will take into account your health problems, if any, before doing so.
3. Swimming as an alternative form of exercise is very healthy.
4. If you cannot visit the gym, let the gym visit you! Hire a personal trainer who can come home and help you at least for some time.
Once you understand your own body needs as well as get some good advice from the trainer, you could start exercising on your own.
With inputs by Merril Diniz
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