Live Long and Lean: Exercising Lengthens Life


January 31, 2013

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By Betty Murray

The key to a long life may not be found in being thin, but in getting regular exercise. New researchsuggests regular exercise can add years to your life. By getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week, you may add an estimated 3.4 years to your life; even if you are overweight.

Yes, you read that correctly. Having a healthy weight, but not getting regular exercise can shorten your life by as much as three years. The study by researchers from the National Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School and other scientific and medical organizations found that overweight people who get regular exercise are more likely to live longer than healthy weight individuals who do not exercise.

While nutrition is also key to a long, healthy life, to enjoy the benefits of a long, healthy life, you must exercise. If you are active, no matter your weigh, you will have a longer life than if you spent most of your time being sedentary.

At the minimum, get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. This could be as simple as a brisk walk outside or on the treadmill, a light run, Zumba or a hard-core workout class at the gym. Find what works best for you. When exercising, choose an activity that you enjoy, and that fits well into your schedule and you’ll be more likely to follow through and stay motivated to exercise each day. If you struggle to exercise alone, take a friend with you or join a group exercise class at your local gym. Rather than going out for drinks with your girlfriends after work, throw on your walking shoes and hit the Katy Trail or walk around White Rock Lake together.

If you want to add years to your life, make necessary adjustments to your lifestyle. This may include eating healthier, getting more sleep, and exercising more. Rather than focusing purely on what you eat, incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.

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