New York Times article by Gretchen Reynolds on the ‘Science of Fitness‘ confirms what this Site has been preaching for a long time. Conclusions to be drawn from the article, which ironically is contrary to the optimism for LONGEVITY of this Blog, unfortunately are predictable! First of all…let us deal with the depressing news: Just Fitness Not Enough for Longevity! and later in this article bounce back with an analysis and solution!
American life expectancy now exceeds 78 years contrasted to 74 years in 1980…BUT the quality of those extra years of living is becoming in a short phrase ‘general agony’ for most subjects...chronic disease is currently rampant. Even the wedge of age for chronic disease is increasing…the younger and younger are more inflicted. The ‘lengthening of morbidity’...depressing phrase…is now ever increasing plight of North Americans, and with the industrialization of habits and health, the negatives seem easily transmitted, exported…soon the world will similarly suffer! Consequence longer life span really merely equating to longer and longer state of misery for vast numbers. Article does offers a glimmer of hope from a referenced new study, recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, suggesting some advance planning can change the outcome… ESSENTIALLY it’s being or becoming fit in middle age! The researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the Cooper Institute in Dallas comprehensively utilized over 18,000 medical records of persons who had visited the Cooper Clinic, part of Institute, for checkups…starting in 1970. This allows follow through to persons NOW in their 70 s and 80 s!! Division into five categories, with the vast number, as the New York Times article cynically points out, being in the least fit section!! These least fit predictably most likely to have developed any of eight serious conditions early in the aging process…including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Contrasted to the most aerobically fit…compressing chronic disease into the final five years instead! In other words it’s apparently, if one accepts all this at face value, merely a delay mechanism and allows a longer quality of life…infirmity seems an inevitable and the physically fit merely just compress the time! Granted the positive is a longer quality of life...but the inevitability of infirmity and debility runs counter to the health principles espoused on this Web! Put another way: The effects of fitness in this study statistically were greater in terms of delaying illness than prolonging life! Just Fitness Not Enough for Longevity!
But while those in the fittest group did tend to live longer than the least fit (how long!!!) the emphasis of the study outcome was that they were more likely to live well in their older or golden years! Dr. Jarett Berry assistant professor of internal medicine at U.T. Southwestern, and author of the study, said that while genetics is involved nevertheless much of a person’s fitness viz a viz illness, especially middle age depends on their physical activity…and also echoing that the greatest benefit respecting chronic illness is from really poor fitness to just one step better as opposed to being super fit!!! This literally requires minimal exercise like 20 minutes of walking a day!!! Dr. Willis who is himself not an athlete and exercises little, cryptically remarks “Just getting off the couch is the key.”
This subliminal message is more than irksome! Why is this really ‘non sequitur’ to use the Latin! It really does ‘not follow’ given a comprehensive bird’s eye view of health as envisioned by this “blog”…nor should it, because the magic of this whole intensive, extensive research across several disciplines, and execution of sometimes several health modules simultaneously, is to actually beat chronic disease completely. And then further! As Professor Valter Longo of the University of Southern California, who has been studying Longevity itself for several decades, succinctly propounds: Just beating all cancers…an extra some 3.4 years….beating all metabolic syndrome disease…include in there heart, stroke, diabetes, Parkinson’s, cancers, even MS and Alzheimer’s…then its a grand total of “merely”…our comment not his!...say 12 years!! But reflect…in that case one has beaten at least the ‘compression of time’ of disease if this is achievable!…Then Valter Longo goes on from there! The magic is in the Stem Cells...we wake them up with all kinds of techniques…and presto! The old Stem Cells somehow rejuvenate to ground zero!! This is not an issue of ‘acceptance’ of young stem cells...although in that sector…again it’s the same principle…amniotic and umbilical Stem Cells do not have to be ‘accepted’. There seems to be a plethora of misunderstanding out there and on the part of researchers and practitioners actually in the specific fields!! This Blog has carefully canvassed this arena! An immediate and effective jump start…that does not even venture into the ethics and bureaucracy involving amniotic and umbilical stem cells that are literally ground zero…is to adopt a program the same or similar to Valter Longo’s FMC or Fasting Mimicing Diet…or even cold turkey…an outright water fast say three times a year...but with caution! Review the articles on this Blog and get excited…this is contrary to personal reaction of what could be an inference to be drawn from the New York Times article, that quite accurately and justifiably is also apt! Just Fitness Not Enough for Longevity!