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Physical Activity and Athleticism


John Miller

Physical activity is an essential component to creating good health. The most recent human research tells us that everyone should do a minimum of 90 minutes of exercise daily to avoid weight gain and maintain optimum health. You may find it hard to stay interested for 90 minutes at a time, which is why it is important to find activities that are enjoyable.

Work outs at the gym or elaborate exercise classes are only beneficial if you enjoy them enough to stick with it on a regular basis. Fortunately, you don't have to go to the gym or some group class to get exercise. Physical activity can be so many things: a daily walk with friends or family, hiking, dancing, yoga, gardening, walking up the stairs instead of using the elevator, washing dishes by hand, scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees, swimming, martial arts, or anything you can think of that will increase your heart rate and induce a mild sweat.

Regular exercise lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and reduces the risk of diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, insulin resistance, breast cancer, arthritis, and just about every other disease.


ATHLETES

An athlete trains and practices a skilled exercise, sport, or game requiring physical strength, agility or stamina, and does so for extended periods of time. Despite the known health benefits of exercise, there is a body of evidence suggesting that endurance exercise, like that performed by many athletes, is associated with oxidative stress.

Cells continuously produce free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) as part of metabolic processes but this production is greatly increased during endurance exercise. Normally, the free radicals and ROS are neutralized by an elaborate antioxidant defence system consisting of enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and numerous non-enzymatic antioxidants, including vitamins A, E and C, glutathione, ubiquinone, and flavonoids. However, the increased production of free radicals and ROS during endurance exercise can overpower the antioxidant defence system, causing oxidative stress.

Dietary antioxidant supplements used under the supervision of a healthcare provider knowledgeable in this area can help counteract the oxidative stress caused by endurance exercise.

Well researched and reliable antioxidant formulas and other nutritional supplements for athletes can be found at the The Life Extension Foundation

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