Fifteen Minutes To A Healthier And Longer Life
In a recent study out of Taiwan, researchers found that as little as fifteen minutes a day of exercise is better than doing nothing. I wonder who paid for this? Regardless of who was footing the bill, it is common sense that being active is better than sitting around being a slug. Even this small amount of physical exercise lowered the mortality rate by 14%. This added up to a projected three years added to the life expectancy of those who were exercising regularly.
There may have been flaws in the study because the participants self-reported their activity level. However, even though this was the case, there were still 416,175 responding to the survey, a large number. The questions asked in the study centered on their exercise habits. After the questionnaires were returned, the projected life expectancy was figured for each person. These people were then followed for the next eight years.
Each gender benefited from these fifteen-minute sessions. Adding an additional fifteen minutes each day lowered the risk of death another 4%.
Once again, the benefits of exercise are right in front of our faces. Now the hard part comes and that is getting going. Start out on the low side with five minutes each day. It won’t be long before this is too short and you will want to do more and more.
Why Am I Getting Shorter?
Isaac Newton had part of the answer right when he developed his theory of universal gravity. Gravity pulls on our aging body, and this contributes to making us shorter. However, it is not just gravity doing its natural thing; it is also the loss of muscle and the dehydration of the discs in the spine leading to a gradual compression of the spine over the years.
After turning forty, people begin to lose about 0.4 inches in height every ten years until reaching their seventies. After this time, the rate of height loss is even greater and once it is gone, it is never coming back. There are things you can do to help slow down or prevent further loss.
Regular exercise leads the list along with stretching and getting the daily required amounts of calcium in your diet.
If the shrinking is greater than normal, then a visit to the doctor is in order to check for signs of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis weakens the structure of the bone, leaving it weak and unable to carry a load. When this happens in the spine, the vertebrae begin to collapse. This is a potentially serious condition, especially for postmenopausal women where there is the danger of fractures in the hips, wrists and vertebrae if left unattended.
If you have concerns about your shrinking height, then see your doctor.
Stay strong, and remain passionately committed to your heart’s chosen path.
 John Conduitt, Newton’s assistant at the Royal Mint and husband of Newton’s niece, had this to say about the event when he wrote about Newton’s life:
“In the year 1666 he retired again from Cambridge ... to his mother in Lincolnshire & while he was musing in a garden it came into his thought that the power of gravity (which brought an apple from a tree to the ground) was not limited to a certain distance from earth, but that this power must extend much further than was usually thought. Why not as high as the Moon, thought he to himself & that if so, that must influence her motion & perhaps retain her in her orbit, whereupon he fell a-calculating what would be the effect of that superposition...”
( Keesing, R.G., The History of Newton’s apple tree, Contemporary Physics, 39, 377-91, 1998)