How to live longer better
Did you know that exercise is medicine? At least that’s what many health experts are saying. Including Professor Sir Muir Gray CBE, Honorary Clinical Researcher, founder of the National Library for Health and the first person to hold the post of Chief Knowledge Officer of the NHS (England).
Professor Gray is a great advocate of physical activity and exercise, especially as we are living longer. You see ageing is a natural process that happens to all of us, but you can think of it on two ways: chronological ageing and biological ageing.
Chronological ageing refers to ageing over time, literally how long you have been alive for. Each birthday is a celebration of your chronological age. According to Professor Gray, this type of ageing by itself is relatively unimportant until the nineties.
Biological ageing however refers to your functional age and is a reflection of your lifestyle. So, chronologically you can be age 65, but biologically age 70. Conversely, your biological age could be 55. It very much depends on vital elements of lifestyle behaviour including:
• Physical activity
Spending more time being sedentary, eating a poor diet with lots of processed and fatty foods and smoking all result in what is called inflammaging. This is because these lifestyle behaviours promote inflammation within our body which accelerates the natural ageing process, leading to an older biological age than your chronological age. Unfortunately, this often coincides with poor health outcomes leading to a greater risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia and many other comorbidities.
The good news is you can offset all this by being more physically active. Research has shown that physical activity and exercise can actually slow down the natural ageing process, meaning your biological age is younger than your chronological age. And don’t forget the importance of social connections – in fact some research has suggested a lack of significant social relationships can be as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day!
That’s why at Move it or Lose it, we encourage you to be as active as you can. Whether it’s going for a walk, spending time in the garden or doing the housework it all counts! It’s why so many of our class members love going to our classes because they get to socialise, exercise and have fun, regardless of age (chronological or otherwise!). Exercise can offer greater improvements in health than any pharmaceutical drug available today – so you see, exercise really is the best medicine!
This is why Professor Sir Muir Gray firmly believes in Move it or Lose it because we are aligned in our mission to help older people move more and to live longer better. See what he thinks of us in this video:
You can see more about Professor Sir Muir Gray on his website – www.livelongerbetter.net