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Exercise is the Heart's Fountain of Youth

August 12, 2008 | 50,022 views
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exerciseOlder people who do endurance exercise training end up with metabolically younger hearts, according to a study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. By at least one metabolic measure, women benefit more than men from the training.

Researchers measured heart metabolism in sedentary older people both at rest and during administration of dobutamine, a drug that makes the heart race as if a person were exercising vigorously. At the start of the study, they found that the hearts of the study subjects didn't increase their uptake of glucose in response to the dobutamine.

But after endurance exercise training involving walking, running or cycling exercises three to five days a week for about an hour per session, the participants' hearts doubled their glucose uptake during high-energy demand, just as younger hearts do.

If heart muscle doesn't take in glucose in response to increased energy needs, it goes into an energy-deprived state, which can raise the risk of heart attack. But if it can increase glucose uptake, the heart is better protected against heart attack and ischemia (low oxygen).

What Are GMOs?

From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.

Donate Today!


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

It’s a misconception that we all age at the same rate and there is nothing we can do to alter that rate.

One of the absolute best ways to take care of your body, now and as you get older, is exercise. This study is just the latest to show how much benefit you can reap from a little bit of physical activity.

The participants in this study were between the ages of 60 and 75, and they had been living an inactive lifestyle. Then, an hour of exercise three to five times a week, and 11 months later, they had major improvements in their heart health.

One of the researchers even said the participants reported feeling “in the best shape they had been in years.”

So if you’re currently middle-aged or older and feeling like you’re “too old” to exercise or that it’s “too late to get any benefits,” think again. This study just proved you wrong.

Of course, the best way to know for sure is to get started on an exercise program and experience the benefits first-hand.

What is the BEST Type of Exercise Program?

If you’re looking for results -- both on the outside and inside of your body -- you need to do a variety of workouts, including aerobic and strength training. But in terms of aerobics, there’s a secret you should know.

Research is showing that the BEST way to condition your heart and burn fat is NOT to jog steadily for an hour. Instead, it’s to alternate short bursts of high-intensity exercise with gentle recovery periods. This type of exercise, known as interval training, can dramatically improve your cardiovascular fitness and fat-burning capabilities.

You can still incorporate some of the endurance cardio into your routine, but make sure you take advantage of interval training. The new evidence suggests that this may actually provide MORE protection against heart attacks than long durational aerobic-type exercises.

Another major benefit of this approach is that it radically decreases the amount of time you spend exercising, while giving you even more benefits.

Personally, I now incorporate interval training (sprints) with endurance cardio training (running), pull-ups, dips, and singles tennis. As I near my mid 50s I am unable to do more than one hard interval training a week. But when I do sprint, it is great fun to run all out as fast as I can, it really gets my heart going quickly.

A word to the wise, if you’re just getting back into exercising, you’ll need to work your way up slowly. To start, you might try walking interspersed with a period of fast walking, for instance. Then, as your body grows more conditioned, you can increase to a higher intensity workout.

Need a Little Motivation?

I’ll be the first to admit that exercise is not easy. It’s not supposed to be after all, and if exercising is a breeze, you’re probably not working hard enough.

If you have a hard time psyching yourself up for a vigorous workout, one of the best things to do is focus on the prize: a healthier, more trim you.

I’m going to list some of the many, many things exercise can do for your mind and body. Go ahead and print this list out, send it to your exercise buddy or take it with you to the gym. Then, whenever you’re thinking of quitting, take a look. These benefits are just too good to pass up.

15 Ways Exercise Can Improve Your Health

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