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Exercise, the Fountain of Youth

Ten ways exercise can add years to your life!

By Aileen Ludington, MD, and Hans Diehl, DrHSc, MPH

The fabled Fountain of Youth lured ancient adventurers to a lifetime of fruitless searching. In time it became a symbol for an impossible dream. That was yesterday, when many people were dying in early adulthood from infectious diseases.

Today, antibiotics and improved sanitation and hygiene help to put at least part of this dream within reach of nearly all of us. However, the battle has shifted from infectious diseases to degenerative diseases. These are the maladies that are now robbing us of our energy, disabling us prematurely and killing us slowly.

The good news is that greater vitality, better health, and longer life can be ours through regular, brisk physical activity. The adage use it or lose it applies to muscles, bones, the heart, lungs, the brain, blood vessels, joints, and every other part of the body. A sedentary lifestyle is a direct route to an earlier death.

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About the author

Adapted from Dynamic Living: How to Take Charge of Your Health, by Aileen Ludington, MD, and Hans Diehl, DrHSc, MPH. Used by permission.