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Dynamic Chiropractic – November 16, 1998, Vol. 16, Issue 24

Exercise: The Ultimate Anti-aging Pill

By Philip Santiago
Anti-aging health care is a new field. It promises to be one of the most significant medical specialties of the future, one that will influence human life for generations to come. Chiropractic physicians have already made, and will continue to make, important contributions to this field.

Chiropractors are often the first health care professional a patient will visit with early signs of aging. How many patients hobble into your office complaining of stiff arthritic joints or aching backs? They worry about these painful effects of aging and demand our help.

The evolution in addressing anti-aging is perfect for the chiropractor. Our patients are already provided with nutrition, exercise, lifestyle changes and adjustments, and the added interpretations of biomarker testing and treatment are a natural.

One of the first recommendations is exercise. Many people assume that getting fatter, weaker and stiffer is inevitable with age. A growing body of research, however, suggests that much of the decline attributed to aging actually comes from being sedentary, and that regular exercise can help people remain healthy and independent as they get older.

One of the most intriguing studies documented the "anti-aging" effect of physical activity comes from the adult exercise research program at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, where exercise physiologists collected data on nearly 1,000 adults who have undertaken regular exercise programs. The results show a dramatic decrease in the age drop that occurs in the normal population that does not exercise.

As many gerontologists and researchers have found, exercise is the closest thing to an anti-aging pill that exists. People who are physically fit, eat a healthy, balanced diet and take nutritional supplements can measure out to be 10 to 20 years younger biologically than their chronological age. This is what makes an immortal. An immortal doesn't necessarily live forever but can be free from mental and physical disease and degeneration for years longer than an unhealthy individual. Exercise is an extremely important part of achieving this "immortality."

It doesn't matter if you were once physically active in your younger years. If you're not currently engaged in a physical activity program on a regular basis, your body is not receiving the innumerable health-related benefits of exercise.

  • Improves immune system functioning.
  • Helps you lose weight -- especially fat weight.
  • Improves survival rate from myocardial infarction.
  • Improves body posture.
  • Reduces risk of heart disease.
  • Improves the body's ability to use fat for energy during physical activity.
  • Helps the body resist upper-respiratory tract infections.
  • Helps relieve the pain of tension headaches.
  • Increases maximal oxygen uptake.
  • Increases muscle strength.
  • Helps preserve lean body tissue.
  • Reduces risk of developing high blood pressure.
  • Increases density and breaking strength of ligaments and tendons.
  • Improves coronary heart circulation.
  • Increases levels of HDL cholesterol and reduces LDL cholesterol.
  • Helps improve short-term memory.
  • Sharpens dynamic vision and controls glaucoma.
  • Reduces risk of developing Type II (non insulin dependent) diabetes.
  • Reduces anxiety.
  • Assists in quitting smoking.
  • Slows the rate of joint degeneration (osteoarthritis).
  • Enhances sexual desire, performance and satisfaction.
  • Helps in the management of stress.
  • Improves quality of sleep.
  • Reduces risk of developing colon cancer.
  • Reduces risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • Reduces risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Reduces risk of developing stroke.
  • Reduces susceptibility to coronary thrombosis (a clot in the artery that supplies the heart with blood).
  • Helps alleviate depression.
  • Helps alleviate low back pain.
  • Improves mental alertness and reaction time.
  • Improves physical appearance.
  • Improves self-esteem.
  • Decreases resting heart rate.
  • Helps in relaxation.
  • Helps prevent and relieve the stresses that cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Helps relieve constipation.
  • Protects against "creeping obesity" -- slow weight gain that occurs with age.
  • Improves blood circulation, resulting in better functioning organs, including the brain.
  • Increases productivity at work.
  • Improves balance and coordination.
  • Helps to retard bond loss as you age, thereby reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis.
  • Improves general mood state.
  • Helps in maintaining an independent lifestyle.
  • Increases overall health awareness.
  • Improves overall quality of life.

As the baby-boomers age, they will need specialists to help them maintain their active lifestyles and quality of life. Chiropractors who focus on this segment of our population will not only help this huge segment of our population but also the growth of chiropractic.

Those interested in the specialty can write to:

New York Academy of Anti-Aging
P.O. Box 149
Parsippany, NJ 07054

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