What if the Most Powerful Way to Live Longer is Just Exercise?

The Canyon ChronicleBy The Canyon Chronicle

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What if the Most Powerful Way to Live Longer is Just Exercise?
Kim Pierpoint is an avid sprint triathlete, who did her first sprint at age 54. Her sportswear and blogs are an inspiration to women to get back in the game. 
A few weeks ago, I rolled my right ankle and found myself back in physical therapy, fearing I’d really done it this time. After reassuring me that the sprain was minor and I’d be running again very soon, my PT said, wistfully, “If only we could put exercise in a pill form, then everyone would live longer, healthier lives.” Back home, foot iced and elevated, I thought about what he’d said. Just for fun (and for something to do now that I was stuck on the couch) I googled “exercise and longevity.” The first thing that popped up was a June 14th article in the Wall Street Journal titled “What If the Most Powerful Way to Live Longer is Just Exercise?” What if, indeed! Here are a few highlights: Longevity researchers have spent decades hunting for a magic pill to slow the aging process. But the best solution, at least for now, may be the simplest one: Move more. Any amount of physical activity can help extend a person’s life, research suggests, especially for people who currently are doing very little. Exercise is one of the few things that the scientific literature is just unequivocal about, says neuroscientist Dr. Christin Glorioso. Here’s more from Runners World A 2023 study of more than 100,000 American adults published in Circulation found that those who exercised two to four times above the recommended minimum of leisure-time physical activity had lower rates of mortality. (Minimum is 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity and 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity every week.) And this from the New York Times: Even 4,000 Steps a Day Can Have Big Health Benefits. A new study shows that a habit of walking just under 4,000 steps per day reduced the risk of dying from any cause, including cardiovascular disease. That translates into a 30–45-minute walk or roughly two miles. Mortality risk decreased by 15 percent with every additional 1,000 steps. It’s the best medicine we can recommend just going out for a walk, according to Dr. Randal Thomas, a preventive cardiology specialist at the Mayo Clinic. So, what is holding us back? For many women, it’s the embarrassment of bladder leaks caused by stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Bladder leaks keep as many as 20% of us out of the yoga studio, the gym, the track, and the trails. And the more time we spend being inactive, the more we put our health at risk. We know this, yet it’s hard to take that first step. If you are sidelined by a leaky bladder, here are a few things you can do to take back control: Talk to your doctor (please don’t wait seven years to bring it up as too many of us do!). Find out what’s causing you to leak and make a plan to address it. Consider consulting a pelvic floor physical therapist or urogynecologist, someone with expertise in pelvic floor disorders. If neither type of resource is available to you (we understand that geography, insurance coverage, transportation, or childcare might create barriers to access) consider an online course to help you get started. Check out The Women’s Bladder Doctor, offered by Sarah Boyles, MD, for expert, affordable options. If you’re worried about leaking as you begin to move more, try a pair of Prickly Pear Sports shorts or leggings. We will help you take that first step so you can get off the couch and get back into action with confidence. We’ve been sidelined too. That’s why we’re physical therapy enthusiasts—whether it’s pelvic floor PT for bladder leaks or sports PT for ankle sprains! Now get out there, do what you love to do, and go the distance. We’ve got you covered! Kim Pierpoint is a retired healthcare administrator and avid sprint triathlete who struggled with bladder leaks during practice runs. She searched for a product geared toward active women with leaky bladders and found....NOTHING! So, she designed and produced her own solution, a line of shorts and leggings that allow active women to stay that way without fear of embarrassing bladder leaks. Kim continues to train and race in Boulder, Colorado, where she lives with her husband and two cats. She is passionate about helping women regain an active lifestyle and invites comments and questions at: kim@pricklypearsports.com/contac where you can also sign up for her newsletter. For her blog: pricklypearsports.com.
The Canyon Chronicle

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September 1, 2023