- Decide to get healthier.
- Do one thing about it and then never stop doing that one thing. Hint: keep it easy.
- When that one thing is part of your lifestyle do another thing. Maybe something harder.
Admittedly, there are a lot of ways to measure “healthier.” Most of us use weight. It’s easy to measure. We feel good when it goes down. We get depressed when it goes up. But there are a lot of skinny people who get sick, right? So losing weight may be a good thing but it’s not a true measure of health. A BETTER way to measure “healthier” is endurance. For example, I can speed walk so far at such and such mph before I get tired. Or I can do so many minutes of Zumba before I throw up. Endurance. The BEST way is what was used in the above noted research.
Genetic bio-markers. Telomerase activity. Blood-thiole levels. C-Reactive Protein. Things such as these. Researchers now take blood and measure DNA repair, anti-oxidant levels, or inflammation levels. These and other much more complex types of tests are much truer ways to measure health and longevity. They tell us how our behavior is effecting our gene expression.
So back to the German study. What they found out is that if you fast-walk for 25 minutes per day, or 150 minutes per week, your genetic bio-markers improve. You actually slow down the aging process at the genetic level. Let me restate that, you actually slow down the aging process!! No you can’t get younger, but you can get older more slowly. And that’s fantastic!! The research concluded that by speed-walking 25 minutes per day you will live 3-7 years longer, you will have a greater quality of life, and you will have less stress. That is so simple.
That goes back to my first sentence, people make getting healthier harder than it needs to be. What could be easier than putting on some decent shoes, loading up your favorite play list on your phone audio app, and walking out your front door at as fast a pace as you can every day for 25 minutes? “Hey, I don’t have 25 minutes a day,” you say. Fine, in the long run your body doesn’t know the difference between 25 minutes-7 days per week or 50 minutes-3 days per week. You decide which fits your life. “I’m too old,” you say. The research even said starting at 60 or 70 made a difference. It’s never too late.
Remember: 1) Decide to get healthier. 2) Do one thing about it and never stop. 3) When that one thing is routine, do another thing. Someday you’ll thank yourself.