Saturday, August 15, 2015

Exercise and Diet: How To Prevent Dying In Your Sixties

I'm not bold enough to say physical exercise is the elixir of life, but I would say regular physical exercise can guarantee a longer and healthier life.

Yet the metabolic processes that maintain life are the very processes that produce free radicals that cause premature aging and death.

By the metabolic processes compound molecules are broken down to produce energy, while simple molecules are synthesized to form proteins to build and repair body tissues.

The energy for carrying out these catabolic and anabolic processes to maintain life is produced by the mitochondria within each of the 37 trillion cells in the human body. 

Electrons are transferred from one molecule to another as oxygen and sugar interact within the mitochondria to produce energy. In the process some molecules lose their electrons, and become free radicals. To return to their stable condition they must steal electrons from other molecules.

This is the beginning of oxidative stress within the cell, where free radicals make a determined effort to steal electrons from the DNA, proteins and membrane of cells in the body.

When free radicals succeed in stealing electrons from their host cells, the nature of these cells changes, disabling their internal control mechanism, and cause them to die prematurely, or change into cancerous cells.

From this we can see that even without external pathogens and toxins, the normal metabolic processes of life produce enough free radicals to ensure that we die in our sixties, if we did nothing to intervene.

When pathogens, carcinogen from cigarette smoke, and environmental and food toxins are added to the mix, the health problem becomes even bigger. We have no way out, while being exposed to toxins from the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. 

This is happening because we live in environments where herbicides are used to control weeds, insecticides to control inserts, fungicides to control fungus, and rodenticides to control rodents. Toxins from these and other pesticides enter our food and the air we breathe causing damage to our cells.

Not only that, toxins from industrial waste enter the water we drink, and toxins from chemical fertilizers enter the food we eat. But for our hard working immune system we would all be dead by our 21st birthday.

Fortunately, from the days of the Greek physician Hippocrates, dubbed "The Father of Medicine", we have been aware that we had to do something to help our immune system protect our bodies from invading pathogens and toxins.

We have done this successfully with medications and the tools of medical science, to the extent that we are now able to live beyond our 21st birthday, into our sixties and beyond. But there's a catch.

Every medication we take to extend our lives has side effects, including the common aspirin. What we have found is that you may go see your doctor about a health problem. After taking the prescribed medication, you may end up with another health problem from its side effects.

When you go back to see your doctor about the new health problem, he/she may prescribe another medication to take care of the side effect of the first medication. 

Since the second medication to cure the side effect of the first medication also has side effects, you may have to go back again to see your doctor for another medication to cure the side effects of the second medication. You see where I'm going with this?

This explains why once you get into the health system as a patient, you are likely to be prescribed more medications than not. Don't get me wrong though. I believe in medications, and I know they work. 

But considering the known side effects of medications, it's common sense that the fewer medications we take the fewer health problems we would have to deal with coming from the side effects of these medications.

You will also find that the only reason we are able to live beyond our 69th birthday is because we are taking more medications and having more surgeries, which brings into question the quality of the extended life. Are we living longer and healthier, or living longer and sicker?

This is the dilemma of modernity. Confronting this dilemma is the reason some people are now suggesting other ways to complement medications and surgery to extend life, while at the same time maintaining good health.

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician is quoted as saying, "Thou food is thou medicine". Nothing could be more truer. The food we eat provides our cells the nutrients they need to grow, repair and protect the organs of the body. In short, we are what we eat.

In pursuing this objective, many health conscious people have been searching all corners of the world for exotic diets to maintain good health and extend their lives. But this is doing too much for too little.

I say this because you can find all the foods and drinks from which to get all the nutrients your body needs for good health and longevity right here at home. Go to choosemyplate.gov, and plan your meals according to the recommendation provided by the food experts.

With those needing special diet, or having difficulty deciding on a diet, contact your doctor or dietitian for advice. Meanwhile, keep your food portion size small to medium to avoid gaining excess weight.

As for controlling the free radicals and toxins in your body, fruits and vegetables are recommended. The problem is that it's difficult, if not impossible for many of us to eat the recommended quantity of fruits and vegetables per day, in order to have the maximum cleansing effect in the body.

Home juicing of fruits and vegetables is the solution to this problem. Since you will need about six medium size apples to make 16 ounce of juice, you would have more antioxidants quickly entering your bloodstream at one sitting than you would have if you attempted to eat six apples, if this was possible at all.

As you would be consuming more fruits and vegetables by juicing, so too you would be ingesting more toxins, if any are on the fruits and vegetables you use. You will then end up fighting a battle you can never win, as more toxins are brought into your body by the home made juice you drink.

For this reason, I will recommend you use only organic fruits and vegetables for your home made juicing. Organic produce are more expensive than inorganic fruits and vegetables, no doubt. 

But if your aim is to provide your body with sufficient antioxidants to neutralize the free radicals in your body, and to detoxify your body of environmental and food toxins, then it's worth paying a little bit more now, than paying much more later for a heart surgery, or spending the rest of your life on a kidney dialysis machine. 

If you are still with me, we've come to the point where your body has all the nutrients it needs in terms of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and mineral salts. You have enough antioxidants in your bloodstream from home made juice to keep the free radicals in your body under control.

You are eating gelatinous foods like aloe vera, sea weeds, chia seeds or okra as part of your diet. These foods bind with toxins in your body and hold them hostage in the bile salts until they are eliminated when you go to the toilet.

Before all these good things happen though, the 37 trillion cells in your body should receive sufficient daily supply of oxygen, nutrients, hormones and enzymes. These are transported to your cells by your blood circulatory system. 

When we were young, we had no problem boosting our blood circulatory system because of the increased physical activity that comes with youth. As we get older and our physical activity decreases, so too does the strength of our blood circulatory system.             

As a result, our cells do not get the maximum amount of oxygen, nutrients, hormones and enzymes they need, and at the time they need them. Weakened by insufficient nourishment and oxygen, our cells are not able to grow, repair and protect themselves as well as they would otherwise.

How we protect our cells from being impaired and slow down the match toward premature aging and death, is to increase our physical activity as we get older by regular physical exercise.

And while we may be able to stumble along through life relying solely on medications and surgeries to still alive, without physical exercise, we may not survive what awaits us in our sixties.

In our sixties, degenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's rear their ugly heads in our lives. They are usually caused by damage to the brain cells by free radicals produced in the mitochondria as it metabolizes oxygen and sugar to produce cellular energy.

Metabolic syndrome is another degenerative disease that awaits us as we enter our sixties. It is a cluster of health problems, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, overweight, and high bad cholesterol level occurring together to increase our risk for heart attack, stroke and diabetes.     

In our sixties is when the chicken come home to roost. We can choose to get on a healthy diet that provides our cells the right nutrients they need to grow, repair, protect themselves and keep us healthy. 

Get on an age and health appropriate regular physical exercise routine that brings sufficient oxygen into our bodies, and boost our blood circulatory system to keep us healthy and increase our lifespan.

Or we can choose to wait until we become fatter and sicker, then go see our doctors for prescription drugs or surgery, only to go back again and again, because we've developed new health problems, or the old health problem won't go away. It's your choice.

Meanwhile, review the health benefits of regular physical exercise. They will help you make the right choice for your health and longevity.

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