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Want to Live Longer? Try Running!Who doesn't want to live a long, healthy life? Having a long lifespan means you get to engage in more fun activities, spend more time with the people you love, and experience things you have only dreamed of. But in order for that to happen, you have to be able to move around. This means you need a healthy skeletomuscular system--a healthy structure of bones and muscles. As you age, your muscles and bones begin to degrade. You lose muscle mass, meaning you are no longer able to handle the strain you once could. Your bone mass also breaks down, causing the bones to weaken and even break. This degradation can seriously affect the quality of your life, and can prevent you from enjoying your life to the full as you get older. But what if there was a way to prevent that from happening? Good news: there is, and it's called running! A group of researchers at the University of Missouri recently did a study on the bone density of men between the ages of 30 and 65. They discovered that the men who had engaged in high-impact exercise, resistance training, and running-related activities tended to have a significantly higher bone density than men who led more inactive, sedentary lives.
Why is this? Simple: activity damages the bones, which forces your body to make repairs. Every time you jump, the impact damages the bones slightly. Your body responds by not only repairing the damage, but increasing your bone density to prevent damage from the same movement in the future. Basically, the damage caused by exercise forces your body to grow stronger. This doesn't just happen with bone, but with muscle as well. The micro-tears to your muscle tissue forces your body to increase the energy capacity of those muscle fibers, leading to larger muscles capable of more strain. This is why you get bigger and stronger when you work out. The exercise you do ensures that your body is always increasing bone and muscle mass, leading to stronger bones and muscles capable of handling more strain. And the effects aren't just short-term! If you spend years training, your body will adapt accordingly. You will have much denser bones and muscles, and that density will take longer to wear away as you age. So, if you want to live a longer, happier, and more active life, exercise is the way to go! Running is one of the best forms of high-impact exercise, as it conditions not just your muscles and bones, but also your cardiovascular system. By working your heart and lungs, you improve circulation, promote the healthy elimination of toxins and wastes, and prevent the build-up of fat in your blood vessels. This can drastically reduce your risk of heart disease--the #1 killer in the world today. Not a runner? Don't sweat it! Find another type of physical activity that you do enjoy, such as rowing, cycling, elliptical training, or sports. Resistance training (lifting weights) is a good way to not only work your bones and muscles but also your heart and lungs. The action of lifting weights drains the energy stored in your muscles, forcing your body to produce more. You'll find that this will work wonders for your body, and will lead to serious long-term health improvements. For those who want to enjoy a long, healthy life, exercise is the way to go! Sure, running and resistance training may be the best, but as long as you engage in moderate to vigorous exercise, the TYPE of workout you do doesn't matter as much as the fact that you're doing it!