Why Nutrition & Exercise Are The Secret To A Longer & Better Life!

Modern humanity has become more physically inactive than any of its predecessors... With the advent of convenience technologies and packaged food, humanity has begun to suffer. Find out how important nutrition and exercise really are!
Article Summary:
  • The appearance benefits of exercise are obvious but there are many other benefits too.
  • The benefits of exercise are so much better when coupled with a nutritious diet.
  • Adopting a healthy lifestyle is not that simple it will take a great deal of discipline.

  • Why Nutrition And Exercise Are The Secret To A Longer And Better Life!

    "Take exercise: for whilst inaction weakens the body, work strengthens it; the former brings on premature old age, the latter prolongs youth." -Cornelius Celsus (ca.10-60)

    Exercise as it exists today is presented predominantly in advertisements as a way to look younger and more attractive. It is presented on the covers of magazines promising a smaller waist, and by celebrity fitness instructors on television guaranteeing a more attractive body in a few weeks or your money back.

    Many view an exercise routine as a luxury that enables celebrities to look good, and long for shortcuts in the form of miracle diet pills and plastic surgery to obtain this youthful luster without all the hard work and occupation of what already seem to be busy schedules.

    At the same time, modern medicine constantly pushes the boundaries of science to stave off chronic diseases and increase the lifespan and well-being of the population. What every modern person seems to crave is an attractive body, youthfulness and vigor, and a longer, better life. On closer inspection, this makes sense.

    Modern humanity has become more physically inactive than any of its predecessors have ever been. With the advent of convenience technologies and packaged food, humanity has begun to suffer a degeneration that has produced this dissatisfaction with appearance, widespread chronic disease, and lack of youthfulness and vigor.

    The answer to these problems, however, is very simple. Though exercise is marketed today as a means of improving appearance, it has always been much more than this. More important than any shedding of inches it might bring about, exercise is the most effective way to increase life-span and improve quality of life.

    Exercise Is The Most Effective Way To Increase Life-Span And Improve Quality Of Life.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Exercise Is The Most Effective Way To Increase
    Life-Span And Improve Quality Of Life.


    Negative Impacts Of Modern Lifestyle

      Our modern lifestyle has produced a multitude of inactivity related chronic diseases and mass physical deterioration (Penedo and Dahn 189). Since the industrial revolution, the machine has taken the place of the human body as the primary laborer. Where once we plowed our own fields and reaped our own wheat to feed ourselves, we now plow fields with tractors and go to the drive-through window at McDonald's to eat.

      Modern conveniences allow a level of sedentary living that was impossible to achieve even a century ago. The shift to industrial efficiency has caused developed nations to explode in terms of economic productivity, but this occurs at the cost of physical activity.

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      Now it is common to drive half a mile rather than walk that distance, use a remote to change TV stations rather than stand up, and buy prepackaged food rather than cook a meal with fresh ingredients. In addition, instead of finding diversions outdoors in the form of swimming, hiking, or sports, many have become completely content to stay at home and watch television or browse the Internet.

      As they have progressed, modern innovations have put the human body onto the car seat, the office chair, and the sofa for longer and longer.

      The result is that the human body degenerates with lack of use, and more of the population grows ill with perfectly avoidable ailments such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. As new conveniences are devised to aid current conveniences, the situation forms a downward spiral and these health issues reach epidemic proportions.

    Modern Conveniences Keep More People In Front Of The TV And On The Sofa Longer And Longer.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Modern Conveniences Keep More People In Front
    Of The TV And On The Sofa Longer And Longer.


    Correlation Between Lifestyle And Health Care Costs

      With chronic disease plaguing developed nations, modern research has been called upon to find a cure. In attempting this, it has reinforced the known benefits of diet and exercise, and expanded upon them. As sedentary populations continue to rise, the cost of health care used to treat chronic disease becomes a burden upon the entire nation.

      Frank J. Penedo, a clinical Health Psychologist and associate Professor at the University of Miami and Jason R. Dahn, a clinical Psychologist at Michigan State University, illustrate this in their article "Exercise and well-being: a review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity" when they state: "Studies have shown that physical inactivity doubles health risks and adds a disease burden to society comparable with smoking" (Penedo and Dahn 189).

      With a societal welfare hurdle this large to face, many governments have been pushed into action, trying to educate the public on nutrition and exercise by way of charts like the Food Guide Pyramid, but to little effect. With all the global issues facing modern administrations, these attempts at improving domestic health have been under promoted and under funded, allowing the situation with the public to remain the same.

    Trying To Educate The Public On Nutrition With Charts Like The Food Guide Pyramid Has Little Effect.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Trying To Educate The Public On Nutrition With Charts
    Like The Food Guide Pyramid Has Little Effect.


    A Self-Perpetuating Problem

      More people than ever suffer from chronic ailments and poor health, and though information on attaining good health has been made widely available, these same individuals continue to avoid lifestyle changes and look for cures to their problems in the pharmacy, as well as cures for their aesthetic woes in fad diets, weight loss pills, and under the surgeon's knife.

      This desire of the masses to seek modern cures for modern diseases only perpetuates the problem. Often individuals with injuries or health problems cite their condition as the reason they avoid physical activity, but this only makes matters worse. Penedo and Dahn observe this phenomena in their review of exercise related studies as well:

      A recent study evaluated a 12-month community-based water exercise program in older (i.e. aged at least 60 years) sedentary men and women with knee-hip osteoarthritis... participants randomized to the water-exercise program showed significant improvements in physical function and reductions in the perception of pain, relative to control participants... Furthermore, exercise participants displayed significantly better performance ascending and descending stairs and hip range of movements (Penedo and Dahn 3).

      In this study exercise improved the physical conditions of participants, whereas those who avoided activity because of their ailments saw no improvement. In addition, the participants in exercise saw improved physical ability on top of the reduction of their disease, displaying yet another benefit.

      The popular belief that exercise is for the young and fit is a tragic one, for these individuals are the ones that need its benefits the least. Everyone, young or old, benefits from regular exercise, and since exercise is the best means for increasing both youthful vigor and lifespan, the belief that exercise is for the young is an unfounded one.

    The Popular Belief That Exercise Is For The Young And Fit Only Is A Tragic And Unfounded One.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    The Popular Belief That Exercise Is For The Young
    And Fit Only Is A Tragic And Unfounded One.


    The Power Of Adaptation

      The human body is an extremely adaptive organism, and flourishes under exertion. Like that of any organism, the human body has evolved over millions of years to adapt to changing environments and changing demands in order to survive.

      In the wild, anything that cannot adapt to survive is quickly weeded out by predators or famine. Because of this, each of our bodies is an amazing mechanism capable of substantial changes in response to specific demands. If one routinely carries heavy loads, one's skeletal muscles grow stronger to make the task easier.

      If one frequently travels vast distances on foot, one's heart and lungs grow more efficient at providing oxygen throughout the body to make that task easier. The body has, over millions of years, evolved the ability to rid itself of unnecessary material to be as efficient as possible (Bryant and Green 22).

      For example, if a person with large powerful muscles often walks great distances but seldom carries heavy loads, the body will over time reduce the size of its muscles so as to reduce the amount of body weight that must be carried great distances and reduce the energy cost of maintaining all that muscle.

    In The Wild, Anything That Cannot Adapt Is Quickly Weeded Out By Predators Or Famine.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    In The Wild, Anything That Cannot Adapt Is
    Quickly Weeded Out By Predators Or Famine.


    Negative Impacts From Adaptation

      These incredible abilities of adaptation have proved to be a curse to many modern individuals. The human body in all its efficiency reacts to a sedentary, convenience-laden lifestyle by eliminating all the muscle mass that goes unused, and weakening all the bones and joints that seldom carry any strain. By doing this, it saves energy on maintaining these tissues.

      Also, because the human body is so adaptive to changing conditions, when food is plentiful it allows any unused energy to be stored for times of famine in the form of body fat (Randall et al. 674).

      With so little energy needed to sustain weak muscles and joints, and so much energy being consumed in the form of packaged foods, obesity in society has grown exponentially. Not only that, but because sedentary individuals rarely strain themselves to the point of elevated heart rate and respiration, the heart and lungs are also reduced to save energy and stay as efficient as possible (Bryant and Green 12).

      What results are millions of individuals carrying excess body fat on frames composed of weakened muscles, bones, and joints, and powered by weak and inefficient hearts and lungs: the modern health condition.

    The Incredible Abilities Of Adaptation Have Proved To Be A Curse To Many Modern Individuals.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    The Incredible Abilities Of Adaptation Have Proved
    To Be A Curse To Many Modern Individuals.


    Exercise Benefits At The Genetic Level

      This may sound like a daunting condition to overcome, but the solution is miraculous in its simplicity. Even modest exercise can prevent and sometimes reverse these conditions, and it does so even at a molecular level in each of our cells.

      Every cell in our bodies contain DNA, the blueprints for us. While each cell has a full set of blueprints, it only uses the particular instructions it needs, and the vast majority go unused.

      This flexibility of expression allows cells to alter which genes from the DNA they express in response to changes in their environment, utilizing new instructions to redesign themselves or alter their functions. For example, consistent physical activity will stimulate the body to express some amazing genes that are otherwise dormant when the body is often inactive. Some of these genes improve our ability to perform during exercise, while others help our bodies use the energy we eat as fuel rather than storing it as fat (Randall et al. 7).

      Until recently, little was known about the molecular basis for the health benefits we derive from exercise. Now, however, direct observation in laboratories around the world is teaching us more about some of these exercise-influenced genes and their beneficial effects.

      Ana Navarro and her fellow molecular biologists and biochemists at the Universities of Cadiz, Spain and Buenos Aires, Argentina observed several of these in their research, "Beneficial effects of moderate exercise on mice aging: survival, behavior, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial electron transfer."

      After comparing the gene expression of mice that exercised to mice that didn't, Navarro and colleagues concluded that "moderate exercise induced an increase in the activity of DNA repair systems and in the resistance against oxidative stress... It is important to note that the exercise effect seems to extend to humans" (Navarro, et al. R510).

      Our DNA repair genes function to keep us youthful and active by maintaining the integrity of our genes, so the exercise-induced increase in their activity in a complex mammal, such as the mice in the above article, provides us with a clear, scientific basis for the fact that humans who exercise tend to live longer, healthier lives than those who don't.

      Cells in any organism perform reactions using food energy in order to do their job as well as to divide and grow. However, these reactions can occasionally cause minute damage to the area of the cell where they occur (namely, the mitochondria).

      Even if the cell repairs this microscopic damage perfectly 99.9999% of the time, damage will still accumulate over a lifetime and result in an 'older' cell that cannot function as well as the original did, just as an automobile with 100,000 miles is 'older' and less functional than it was when it was brand new (Masoro 917).

      In their article, Navarro et al. explain that exercise improves the body's ability to make perfect repairs, therefore prolonging the time it takes for cells to become 'old', and if it takes longer for cells to grow old, it follows that the entire organism will enjoy an extended lifespan.

    Our DNA Repair Genes Function To Keep Us Youthful And Active By Maintaining The Integrity Of Our Genes.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Our DNA Repair Genes Function To Keep Us Youthful
    And Active By Maintaining The Integrity Of Our Genes.


    Exercise Benefits At The Molecular Level

      In addition to this activation of repair genes, exercise has been found to alter many other molecular changes that occur during normal aging, with the end result being prolonged youth. An example of this is the alteration of gene expression that occurs in the heart as it ages.

      Possibly in response to accumulation of molecular damage, as the heart ages it begins to turn on more of some genes and to turn off others. While it is still able to function, these changes make the heart less strong and efficient than it was in youth. Some have been show to cause arterial hardening, increased plaque formation, and allow for a stronger inflammatory response, all of which are negative changes that increase the risk of heart disease.

      A.M. Bronikowski and his colleagues from the biology departments of several major universities observed these changes and the response to exercise in their article "Lifelong voluntary exercise in the mouse prevents age-related alterations in gene expression in the heart."

      They found that "lifelong exercise can retard cardiac aging at the transcriptional level." (Bronikowski, et al. 134). Put more simply, they found that hearts which receive frequent exercise make changes to the genes they express (or the DNA blueprints they follow) more slowly, amounting to a heart that more closely resembles its younger self as time goes by.

      In addition to this remarkable discovery, Bronikowski et al. also found that "physical activity promotes extended life expectancy at the transcriptional level "(Bronikowski, et al. 135). A more slowly aging heart and improved gene transcription are clear benefits in the road to a longer life, but being molecular in nature they can be difficult to fathom.

      While all these benefits of exercise may seem abstract due to their minuscule scale, there are many large scale, readily observable benefits that occur as well.

    Exercise Alters Many Molecular Changes That Occur During Normal Aging, With The Result Of Prolonged Youth.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Exercise Alters Many Molecular Changes That Occur
    During Normal Aging, With The Result Of Prolonged Youth.


    Exercise Benefits On A Whole Body Level

      The human body adapts itself to changing environments and the demands or lack of demands placed upon it, causing frequent activity to keep the body operating at a more functional level for longer. These adaptations are often the very same changes the sedentary individuals searching for miracle cures to their aesthetic woes crave.

      Exercise has been shown time and again to reduce body fat, tone and strengthen muscles, tighten skin, and increase energy and function. The best of newly developed modern aesthetic products cannot even come close to claiming this much.

      On top of this, exercise has been proven to make other notable changes. Even with individuals not following the new sedentary lifestyle, the changes in gene expression of every cell amount to an increasing rate of physical deterioration beginning in the 30s and accelerating as time passes (Finch).

      Though these changes are to some degree an unavoidable part of life, adhering to an exercise plan aids in maintaining youthful muscle mass, stronger bones, and a more efficient cardiovascular system.

      Ana Navarro and her colleagues observed this in their research, stating, "It is apparent that moderate exercise at middle age in mammals may increase life span, likely by... preventing the... age-associated decline of physiological functions" (R511). By adhering to a consistent exercise regimen, even beginning in middle age, youthful body function is regained and/or maintained, and ultimately lifespan is increased.

    The Best Modern Aesthetic Products Cannot Even Come Close To The Benefits Of Exercise.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    The Best Modern Aesthetic Products Cannot Even
    Come Close To The Benefits Of Exercise.


    Exercise Effects On Happiness

      In addition to the substantial physical benefits of exercise, there are positive changes it induces elsewhere as well. Recent studies have shown what any fitness enthusiast takes for granted, but which may surprise less active individuals: exercise improves quality of life, and generates happiness.

      After even a very brief session of exercise the brain releases hormones called endorphins, elevating mood and improving neural connections. Endorphins are opiate molecules produced by the pituitary glad which create a feeling of well-being similar to that of plant-based opiates (Ernst et al. 88).

      In addition to this free and perfectly healthy high, exercise causes a number of other, more long term changes to occur within the brain and central nervous system. It has been shown in studies to increase mental performance, particularly in older individuals.

      In their joint study "Fitness Effects on the Cognitive Function of Older Adults: A Meta-Analytical Study," researchers of psychology at Beckman Institute, Stanley Colcombe, and Arthur Kramer examined the effects exercise had on the cognitive performance of sedentary elderly individuals.

      They stated: "We examined whether aerobic fitness training can have a robust and beneficial influence on the cognition of sedentary older adults... the answer provided by the present analysis is an unequivocal yes" (Colcome and Kramer 128).

      The two men compared performance on mental tasks of many individuals before and after implementing an aerobic exercise routine and found that "Fitness training increased [mental] performance... regardless of the type of cognitive task, the training method, or participants' characteristics"(128).

      This illustrates in real life exercise's impact on the brain: the reduction of loss of brain cell mass associated with age, and the improvement of existing neural connections, amounting to a younger, faster brain.

    After A Session Of Exercise The Brain Releases Endorphins, Elevating Mood And Improving Neural Connections.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    After A Session Of Exercise The Brain Releases Endorphins,
    Elevating Mood And Improving Neural Connections.


    Exercise Effects On Stress

      Aside from these alterations within the brain and body, exercise has a vast number of less tangible but equally important affects as well. Stress is said by many to accelerate aging and irritate many health conditions, and while exercise does not eliminate stress altogether, it provides a reliable outlet for venting frustrations and returning to a more calm and healthy mindset.

      In addition to this, exercising regularly improves mood and promotes happiness. Kerry Stewart and his colleagues from the Department of Cardiology at Johns Hopkins University comment on this in their study "Are Fitness, Activity, and Fatness Associated With Health-related Quality of Life and Mood in Older Persons," stating:

      Among both genders, individuals with greater fitness and less fatness reported lower levels of anger, depression, and total mood disturbance, as well as less bodily pain, more vitality, fewer problems with daily physical activities resulting from health limitations, and fewer limitations of social activities resulting from emotional or health problems (119).

      By serving as an outlet for stress, sharpening mental focus, releasing mind soothing endorphins, and providing individuals with goals to achieve and a routine to follow, exercise goes beyond producing positive physical changes in the body to improve quality of life and elevating mood.

      This is also illustrated in the article "Long-Term Impact of Preventive Proactivity on Quality of Life of the Old-Old" by Eva Kahana and her colleagues in the field of Sociology and aging at several major universities, in which they state "physical exercise was associated with greater self-reported meaning in life... and goals in life" (Kahana, et al 391).

      Clearly regular exercise goes above and beyond improving physical appearance, bodily function, and increasing lifespan. It also undeniably elevates mood and makes that increased lifespan more worth living.

    Exercise Provides A Reliable Outlet For Venting Frustrations And Returning To A Calm And Healthy Mindset.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Exercise Provides A Reliable Outlet For Venting Frustrations
    And Returning To A Calm And Healthy Mindset.


    Exercise And A Healthy Lifestyle

      While regular physical activity is clearly the best way to achieve all these benefits of health and happiness, it is even more successful and enjoyable when implemented in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle. Exercise unmistakably makes the body function better at just about everything, but as it does this it also places greater demand on some areas.

      Without the aid of a healthy lifestyle, exercise is more difficult, less enjoyable, and yields slower results. In this situation it is understandably much more likely to be discontinued, and studies have shown that beginning exercisers who avoid making lifestyle changes have a much lower rate of adherence and consistency to exercise routines than those who embrace healthier alternatives to their habits (Bryant and Green 374). Therefore, in order to fully reap the many benefits of exercise, a healthy lifestyle is essential.

    Regular Physical Activity Is The Best Way To Achieve All These Benefits Of Health And Happiness.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Regular Physical Activity Is The Best Way To Achieve
    All These Benefits Of Health And Happiness.


    Nutritious Diet

      While the definition of a healthy lifestyle varies between cultures and even individuals, it includes many universal factors including outlets for stress, companionship, and diet. While all of these are vital to health and happiness, for the purpose of this discussion a nutritious diet stands out from the others.

      Proper nutrition allows the body to function at its optimum potential. For the same reasons premium fuel is used in cars instead of a lesser fuel, complete nutrition is vitally important in allowing the human body to perform and recover from the demands of exercise and daily life.

      While any physical or mental activity places demands upon the body that must be met in part by nutrition, exercising for the express purpose of increasing the body's capabilities and function creates even higher demands, and adequate nutrition becomes essential in meeting them.

    Complete Nutrition Is Vitally Important In Allowing The Human Body To Perform And Recover.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Complete Nutrition Is Vitally Important In Allowing
    The Human Body To Perform And Recover.


    Nutrition's Benefits At The Molecular Level

      In addition to its vital role as fuel for an exercising body, a nutritious diet has in recent years been found to offer many of the health benefits that are achieved through consistent exercise. One such example can be found again at the molecular level.

      While exercise has shown to increase a cell's ability to repair itself from cumulative damage and therefore retard the effects of aging, recent research has discovered certain nutrients can actually protect cells from sustaining damage in the first place.

      An article that illustrates this is "Long-Term Dietary Strawberry, Spinach, or Vitamin E Supplementation Retards the Onset of Age-Related Neuronal Signal-Transduction and Cognitive Behavioral Deficits" by J.A. Joseph and his fellow researchers at the US Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Center.

      Through researching how aging is affected by foods rich in antioxidants at the cellular level, Joseph and his colleagues found "The results of these experiments have provided such evidence and have suggested, for the first time, that dietary supplementation with foods identified as being high in antioxidant activity (via ORAC) can retard the effects of aging" (Joseph, et al. 8052).

      Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables have long been known to be part of a healthy diet, but the ability of modern science to view the affects of specific nutrients on a micro-scale has shed light on this phenomena.

    Antioxidant-Rich Fruits And Vegetables Have Long Been Known To Be Part Of A Healthy Diet.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Antioxidant-Rich Fruits And Vegetables Have
    Long Been Known To Be Part Of A Healthy Diet.


    The Effects Of Calorie Restriction

      Some might argue that diet is not only a strong promoter of longevity, but one even better than exercise. In clinical studies researchers have found the number one factor in increased lifespan is not routine exercise, but diet, and more specifically, calorie restriction.

      Countless studies done involving species from insects to primates have all found that decreasing the daily amount of calories consumed by roughly 30% leads to major increases in lifespan. This is due to the fact that the cells of the body are processing significantly smaller amounts of energy, and therefore sustain less damage that accumulates to cause aging.

      In addition, it is theorized that survival genes are activated, which improve genetic repair mechanisms much the way exercise has been shown to do (Ernst et al.). The results of these studies inarguably prove that calorie restriction is the strongest promoter of longevity, but when applied to people the point becomes moot.

      The amount of people willing to subject themselves to lifelong hunger is undoubtedly infinitesimal, and in addition calorie restriction does not provide the numerous other benefits of a sustained exercise routine. Exercise not only increases lifespan through a number of routes, it also improves physical ability (which declines with age), mental performance, and quality of life.

    Decreasing The Daily Amount Of Calories Consumed By Roughly 30% Leads To Major Increases In Lifespan.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Decreasing The Daily Amount Of Calories Consumed By
    Roughly 30% Leads To Major Increases In Lifespan.


    Nutritions Effects On The Immune System

      Nutrition may not upstage exercise in the increased longevity of any human populations, but it is still the premier factor of a healthy lifestyle that with the addition of an exercise routine, can produce miraculous health benefits. For example, while most take mom's advice that an apple a day keeps the doctor away on good faith, it has long been an observable fact that people with healthier diets do not get sick as often.

      With the rapid decline in the quality of many people's diets in recent years, scientists have set out to discover why. Jaime Miquel, a professor in the Department of Biotechnology at the University of Alicante, Spain is one such scientist. In his article "Can Antioxidant Diet Supplementation Protect against Age-related Mitochondrial Damage", Miquel tested the theory of aging of the immune system due in part to oxidative cell damage. He found:

      Because immune decline contributes significantly to morbidity and mortality in the elderly, the finding that administration of TP [an antioxidant] to mice for only five weeks improves several immune functions recommends this compound for clinical study of its potential contribution to the attainment of a longer and healthier human life span (Miquel 513).

      In short, Miquel observed that a diet rich in antioxidants greatly reduced normal immune system decline due to aging, and went on to discuss that since immune decline plays a large part in mortality, this research holds promise for increasing the human life span.

    A Diet Rich In Antioxidants Greatly Reduces Normal Immune System Decline Due To Aging.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    A Diet Rich In Antioxidants Greatly Reduces
    Normal Immune System Decline Due To Aging.


    The Need For Discipline

      In addition to these examples of the positive effects of nutrition on a molecular scale, there is also the longstanding knowledge that those who eat healthier diets in proper proportions also tend to exhibit more youthful, attractive bodies and vigor.

      With all these seemingly miraculous health benefits of proper nutrition on top of the long-standing knowledge that a diet rich in whole grains and vegetables promotes healthy body weight and energy, nutrition is fast being realized as an extremely important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, for anyone to reap these rewards the discipline to follow a healthy lifestyle is necessary.

      Awareness of the importance of nutrition on health has been steadily rising in developed nations for the better part of a century, yet the populace of these same nations continue to ignore or disregard this information in favor of a more immediately gratifying unhealthy snack (Penedo and Dahn 189). This is deleterious to public health and needs to be halted.

      While many individuals cite the taste of food as an excuse for avoiding a nutritious diet in favor of a less healthy one, well prepared food with fresh ingredients can form a banquet few would refuse. Also, when one takes into account not only the taste of the food during the instant it is consumed, but the feeling after the meal and the knowledge of the health benefits or detriments it will produce, a healthy meal readily becomes the favorable option.

      Proper diet provides excellent fuel, protects the cells of the body from damage, and helps maintain the immune system, it's easy to see why it complements an exercise routine's ability to improve the body's repair mechanisms, increase fitness and function, and improve mood and quality of life so well. All one needs is a little dedication, and the rewards are nearly endless.

    For Anyone To Reap The Rewards The Discipline To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle Is Necessary.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    For Anyone To Reap The Rewards The Discipline
    To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle Is Necessary.


    Conclusion

    The human body evolved in harsh and dangerous environments to become the amazing mechanism it is today; but as amazing as it is, it still cannot cope with the blinding speeds of innovation, nor can it adjust to a life of inactivity and poor diet.

    Because of this modern populations are plagued by chronic disease, and people everywhere feel the need to attain more vitality, both in physical form and physical and mental function. It is unfortunate that these people turn to doctors and advertisers to cure themselves of these perfectly avoidable problems when the safest and best solution lies within their own bodies.

    The human body may not be able to cope with today's detrimental lifestyles, but it can with a little use make each and every person smarter, happier, and healthier.

    The answer to the call for a longer and better life is a simple one: exercise, especially in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle and nutritious diet, can make the body better at virtually everything it does; from physical function and performance, to cognitive performance, to maintained youthfulness and vigor. All the body needs is for the mind to command it to get up out of that chair and move.

    Recommended Articles

    Works Cited:

    1. Bronikowski, A. M., et al. "Lifelong voluntary exercise in the mouse prevents age-relatedalterations in gene expression in the heart". Physiological Genomics 12.2 (2003):129-138. Highwire Press Free. CORDA Technologies, Inc. VCU Libs., Richmond, VA. 28 June. 2008
    2. Bryant, Cedric, and Daniel Green. American Council on Exercise Personal Trainer Manual. 3rd Edition.San Diego: American Council on Exercise. 2003
    3. Colcombe, Stanley, and Arthur F. Kramer. "Fitness Effects on the Cognitive Function of Older Adults:A Meta-Analytical Study". Psychological Science 14.2 (2003):125-130. EBSCO host. EBSCOInductries Inc. VCU Libs., Richmond, VA. 30 June. 2008
    4. Ernst, et al. "Antidepressant effects of exercise: Evidence for an adult-neurogenesis hypothesis?"Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience 31.2 (2006):84 -92 . EBSCO Host. EBSCO Industries,Inc. VCU Libs., Richmond, VA.12 July, 2008
    5. Finch, Caleb Ellicott. The biology of human longevity : inflammation, nutrition, and aging in theevolution of lifespans. Amsterdam ; Boston : Academic Press, 2007
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    9. Miquel, Jaime. "Can Antioxidant Diet Supplementation Protect against Age-related MitochondrialDamage?" Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 959.1 (2002):508-516. SynergyBlackwell Journals. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. VCU Libs., Richmond, VA. June 23, 2008
    10. Navarro, Ana et al. "Beneficial effects of moderate exercise on mice aging: survival, behavior, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial electron transfer". AJP - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 286.3. (2004): R505-R511. Highwire Press Free. CORDATechnologies, Inc. VCU Libs., Richmond, VA.. 30 June. 2008
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