Life And Longevity

Sharon Jane Akinyemi

Sharon Jane Akinyemi

By Sharon Jane

One group of soldiers was put on a restricted diet and compared with another group on a very nutritious diet. The performance test scores of the soldiers on the inadequate diet were lower than the scores of those on the good diet. By the end of the experiment, about one-third of the original strength  of the men on a poor diet  was lost. After returning to a nutritious diet, the men regained their original strength within three months .

Another major company during the world war II installed a cafeteria in it’s factory to provide employees the opportunity to have three good meals a day. Within months, they found that absenteeism  declined and the productivity of the workers was significantly increased.Without exception, industrial workers who ate breakfast for only about  half of the workers in relation to the amount  of work they accomplished.

A study was done by the Seventh-Day Adventist with six thousand subjects over  a nine-year period. They found that people who regularly ate breakfast had (to the surprise of some of the researchers) a mortality rate  that was about  three-fourths that of breakfast skippers did not live as long as breakfast eaters. While other factors  could be involved here, such as smoking, drinking habits, and so on, this is still an interesting statistic.

Researchers could say, “Don’t ask me why, but the laboratory, clinical and field observations show conclusively that the presence and severity of infections go hand in hand with poor diets.”

These relationships are especially clear-cut in developing countries where food shortages are severe. Perhaps the presence of adequate calories and nutrients makes it possible for the body to form antibodies necessary to overcome infections.

How Much Should I Eat

How much you should eat depends on many factors, including your height, age, sex, general state of health, job, leisure time activities, genetics, body size, body composition, and what medications you may be on. How much relates to your daily calorie intake requirement – consume more each day than you use up and you will usually put on weight, consume less and the opposite will happen.

There are certain other factors which may give you extra leeway on the amount you can eat,for example, if your food contains a lot of fiber you can usually eat more calories than if you eat food with a very low fiber content.

Put simply, how much you eat is very closely linked to the types of foods you eat and your lifestyle.Some people claim that those who severely limit their daily calorie intake will live much longer. Previous studies found that half-starved roundworms live much longer than well-fed ones. Other animal studies have come up with similar findings.

Scientists from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge explained in the journal Nature (August 2012 issue) that the two main factors that influence lifespans are good genes and a healthy and well balanced diet. Don Ingram and team believe that many of the studies were flawed and were comparing normal/high calorie bad diets with very low calorie bad diets. They explained that their 25-year study using rhesus monkeys on very-low calorie diets did not help them live longer.

Five portions of fruit and veggies per day help people live longer – a team from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (July 2013 issue) that if you eat your “five-a-day” portions of fruit-and-veggies you are likely to live longer.

What is your daily calorie requirement? How much you should eat also depends on what your aims are: to maintain your body weight, lose or gain weight, or prepare for some sports event. However, any focus on food quantity intake is closely linked with calorie consumption.

Calories are a measure of how much energy there is in the food we eat. By understanding calories you can work out how much food you need to eat. Different foods have varying number of calories per gram or ounce of weight.

People today eat  more than they used to — and  more than they need to. This means that they’re constantly taking in more calories than their bodies can burn. Unfortunately, lots of us don’t realize that we’re eating too much because we’ve become so used to seeing (and eating!) large portions.

Portion sizes began to increase in the 1980s and have been ballooning ever since. Take for example: 20 years ago,  people fed mostly on natural/fresh produce from farms than processed refined foods. The naturally grown foods when taken moderately tends to do well to the health of the individual .

The price of overabundance is high. It’s common knowledge that people who consistently overeat are likely to become overweight. But they also risk getting a number of medical problems, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, bone and joint problems, breathing and sleeping problems, and even depression. Later in life, people who overeat are at greater risk for heart disease, heart failure, and stroke.

It’s easy to understand why the food industry tends to serve  more food than is necessary: Customers love to feel like they’re getting the best value for their money! But the value meal is no deal when it triples our calories and sets the stage for health problems.

So what can you do to take back control? A good place to start is knowing about two things that can help you eat smart: serving sizes and recommended amounts of different foods.

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How Much Exercise Do I Need

The question should be rephrased to “How often do I get to work out?” Or “How often will I want to work out once am addicted to it?” These and others are some of the questions people ask me.

You can actually work out as often as your schedule allows! As far as training results, you need to  exercise five or six days a week. The minimum will be three days a week, but that won’t contribute to much weight loss.

How Long Do I Need To Workout Each Session To Lose Weight?

Aim for forty-five minutes of exercise six days a week, with one day off for rest and muscle renewal. Most of each session should be spent on your target heart rate. You can do the math to figure how much weight you will lose. If you burn 500 extra calories  a day, it will take seven days to lose about half a kilogramme. If you want faster weight loss, exercise more (both in the morning and evening). Or deduct 500 calories from each day’s menus. That will give you the recommended 1kg a week loss of fat. Anything more is water weight.

What Should I Do For More Challenge?

If you have been exercising for a while, you may want to increase your fitness level. You can add interval training to your exercise session by interspersing short, intense burst of activity with the slower, sustained movement. Start with short intervals of intense exercise-fifteen to thirty  seconds- and build up from there.

I do interval training, I walk, then jog. Sometimes I climb the stairs, then skip. You can add fun to your work out by inviting another person to join you. That will sure serve as a motivation for you. But remember you need to begin you exercise session with a warm up. After warm-ups, begin your exercise then jog or run to a designated stop. But don’t stop there. Continue  your reduced pace, then jog or run again. The winner is rewarded with a few extra calorie burned! Enjoy stimulating conversation while you cool down.

To achieve overall fitness, three components are important and these include: strength and toning; aerobic endurance andflexibility .

By understanding the role each component plays, you can design your own active lifestyle and become a calorie burning machine. Whether you choose to join a gym, get a personal  trainer, or just engage in fun activities  on a regular basis, you will have the knowledge to fine- tune  your fitness to meet your personal goals.

Strength And Toning 

Muscles are your body engine. They are metabolically active, and they not only burn calories during physical activities but also when your body is at rest. Increasing your muscle mass will increase your body capacity to burn calories. 1/2 kg of fat only burns about three calories per day. But 1/2 kg of muscle burns up to fifty calories! If you gain  1kg of muscle over the next year and nothing else changes you could lose about 5kg of body fat.

It’s been proven that diets , which significantly restrict you caloric intake, can cause the loss of lean muscle mass. Strength training helps maintain your lean muscle mass while you lose fat and it is excellent for toning and shaping the body and prevent injuries. It also helps in the following conditions: osteoporosis, arthritis, obesity, ageing, hypertension and high cholesterol .

To build strength, a muscle must be overloaded or worked beyond it’s normal level. This overloading challenges your muscles on a regular basis and stimulate them to build stronger muscles.

Aerobic Endurance

Fat burns best during aerobic activity. The word aerobic means to use oxygen. Large muscle sustained activities are considered aerobic because we can sustain them for long periods of time with out running out of oxygen. When the activity is isolated to a single muscle group, as in weight lifting, or when we exercise so hard we become winded, this is considered anaerobic, or without oxygen.

Aerobic endurance is a measure of how fit your heart and lungs are. Aerobic exercise causes you to breath more rapidly and your heart to pump more quickly. With regularity  your body will respond with lower body fat, heart rate, cholesterol level and blood pressure. Another positive benefit is increased energy and endurance.

Poor food and low activity level have been shown to be associated with fatigue, inefficiency, and decreased work output.