The most effective way to improve quality of life and duration of life is to exercise. This has been demonstrated in study after study.
One of the more compelling reports comes from Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, a genetic metabolic neurologist who presented his results at the 2014 American Medical Society for Sports Medicine Conference(1). This team of scientists studied mice with a genetically programmed disease that caused them to age prematurely. Half of the mice were delegated to a sedentary lifestyle and the other half were run three times per week for 45 minutes on a wheel. They kept up this exercise routine for a period of 5 months. At the conclusion of the study, the sedentary mice were barely viable: bald, gray, and frail. They had lost muscle mass, showed decreased heart function, were observed to have thinning skin and diminished hearing. The mice in the exercise group remained healthy, even though they had the same premature aging gene. Their fur was still smooth and black, their muscle and brain tissue was preserved and they were noted to actively run around their cages. The most significant finding at one year was that all of the sedentary mice were dead while none of the exercising mice had died of natural causes. “We almost completely prevented the premature aging in the animals” says Dr. Tarnopolsky in a recent interview in Time Magazine(2).
Humans are obviously different from mice, but numerous human studies have shown that moderate exercise positively impacts heart disease, diabetes, depression, osteoarthritis. I could go on... So, hit the wheel and prevent premature aging. The physical therapists at Connect Physical Therapy can assist you if you need guidance starting, progressing or maintaining an exercise routine.