And you would do well to take note because I believe the health benefits of exercise are one of the sure ways you will be able to protect or even regain your quality of life in your later years as I have experienced personally myself as a person now in my 70's.
I first experienced the effects of aerobic and weight resistance exercise on my body and mind after joining the Dutch Marine Corps as a youngster of just 17.
In my subsequent training as a Combat Swimmer/Frogman Commando in the Marines Special Boat Service or SBS as a then 19-year old, the effects of aerobic exercise in the form forced speed marches, mud crawls, endurance running, kayaking, long distance swimming and diving interspersed by the many weight resistance exercises of push-ups, pull-ups and other body weight exercises, really had a dramatic effect on my body and mind.
My endurance increased, my body became more muscular, my energy levels shot through the roof and I experienced the tremendous power of the mind over the body!
My Life After the Marines
Having experienced these health benefits of exercise first-hand as a young man, I have always tried to include regular exercise in my daily life whenever I could ever since.
For instance, when I managed my own accounting practices in my 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, I would force myself to attend the gym early in the morning for weight resistance and rowing exercises and if I couldn’t, I would regularly do some push-ups in my office when the staff weren’t looking, just to get the blood and lymph flow moving in my body.
Now that I am in my 70’s, the health benefits of exercise have become even more important than ever before as I strive to hang on to my health, waistline and slow down the aging process.
As fewer of us after our 40’s, 50’s and 60’s and especially in my age group of the 70’s, are engaging in vigorous exercise, fewer are also enjoying the accompanying health benefits of exercise when 84% over age 65 in Australia now suffer from 1 or more chronic diseases like Diabetes, Arthritis or Cancer to mention just a few!
Regular exercise and therefore increased fitness has a wide range of positive effects, including lowering your risk of cancer and stroke, improving your cardiovascular health and slowing loss of bone density often associated with age.27 Exercise is linked to better brain health and emotional well-being. In a study published in the journal ‘Circulation’, researchers found those who exercised, even without weight loss, tended to live longer.28
Another study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion 29 evaluated data from more than 6,000 Americans and found even small amounts of physical activity adding up to ONLY 30 minutes a day could be as beneficial as longer workout sessions at the gym.
Regular exercise also helps you to control your weight and reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.30 Regular exercise improves your balance and strength, which in turn improves your ability to do daily activities and prevents falls.
High Intensity-Interval Training
In the study, researchers split 36 men and 36 women into two age groups: those between 18 and 30 and those between 65 and 80. These groups were then further split into those who participated in high-intensity interval biking, strength training using weights, or a combination of interval and strength training.
Once data collection was complete, the team found although strength training was effective at building muscle mass, those participating in high-intensity interval training had the greatest improvement at the cellular level.32 The researchers compared proteomic* and RNA** sequencing data finding exercise promoted cells to make more RNA copies coded for mitochondrial protein.
They found that the younger volunteers (those between 18 and 30) carrying out interval training experienced up to a 49 percent increase in their mitochondrial capacity, which validates my opening remarks about my experiences about exercise in the Marine Corps as a young man! However, even more impressive, the older group, (those between 65 and 80!) experienced up to a 69 percent improvement!
In addition, those who participated in interval training improved their insulin sensitivity and lowered their risk of developing diabetes. The researchers believe the study demonstrated how exercise may improve the function of specific organelles, supporting previous research finding exercise enhanced mitochondrial electron transport chain activity and was related to an increase in mitochondrial biogenesis.33
Our Health is Under Siege from Every Direction
We live in a world where, more than ever before, our health is under siege from every direction; from environmental toxins, ultra-processed foods, Electromagnetic Fields (EMF's), government-subsidized GMOs and a host of other threats surrounding us.
It is simply not possible to protect yourself unless you are armed with cutting edge health information especially once you have passed your 40’s and you have become more vulnerable to chronic disease due to the hormonal, metabolic and cellular changes that have been programmed into your body since birth.
However, by introducing the health benefits of a simple exercise schedule into your daily living routine, you've taken a major step to protect your health at any age and it doesn’t need to be very physically demanding either nor should it require a huge commitment of your time or the attendance of a gym.
I was introduced to a code of health at age 11, which taught me the basic principles of health of abstaining from alcohol, not smoke or take drugs and eat a healthy diet if I wished to protect my body from sickness and premature aging. My time in the Dutch Marine Corps Special Forces taught me the importance of regular aerobic and weight resistance exercise and self-discipline.