Is vigorous activity the secret to longevity? Norman Peires lives by this
Exercise is often said to be the secret to living a long life. It’s scientifically proven that keeping active keeps your body working at its best. Exercise provides a plethora of health benefits including increasing your bone density, reducing blood pressure, increasing muscular strength and power, and improving balance – but you’ve likely heard all of this before.
Everyone has their own type of exercise they enjoy. Perhaps the clearest proof of this is the treadmill – people either love it or hate it. While some people prefer to exercise alone, others love the social aspect of group classes or being part of a sports team. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring as long as you can find the type that interests you, and regular activity doesn’t have to be a chore. It can even be a pleasure.
For the older population, exercise can be daunting. Granted, older bodies aren’t as sprightly and strong as a fit 20-something-year old, but they’re still built for it.
Despite the obvious benefits of exercise, there’s a strong fear amongst the older population that falling or injuring themselves during activity may have a detrimental effect on their mobility. However, inactivity is possibly much more life-limiting than an injury. The presence of this fear might mean that these people need to start taking part in exercise activities that improve balance, reducing their risk of falling.
It’s common practice within the medical profession to promote moderate intensity exercise to improve your health. But research from the University of Aberdeen’s musculoskeletal programme has shown that high intensity exercise may be more beneficial to your health and longevity.
The research was conducted by Dr Stuart Gray and shows that short, vigorous busts of activity result in the body getting rid of fat in the blood faster than moderate types of activity.
But what does this mean?
Basically, a high amount of fat in your blood can lead to a heart attack. And high intensity exercise could reduce the likelihood of cardiovascular disease and subsequently the chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Considering cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer in the UK, this is something to take on board.
So, get your heart rate up.
Whether you want to run, cycle, lift weights or swim, any form of exercise is going to benefit you and get your heart pumping faster. Finding a variety of exercise types that keeps you interested is the key. And for some people, this means taking an unusual approach to getting the blood flowing – thrill-seeking.
Founder of luxury travel company, Norman Peires is 65-years old and balances his love of tennis and skiing with a variety of heart-racing, thrill-seeking activities that help to keep his mind active and his body young. After overcoming colon cancer 20 years ago, Peires has been making the most of life. He’s learnt how to fly a plane, loves quad-biking and jumps at the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a race car.
He says, “When it comes down to it, the biggest thrill is going round a racetrack.”
Peires plays tennis with his wife, Lorna, at least twice a week and took up skiing later in life when she introduced him to the physically intense activity.
“I’ve been to ski school at least 20 times; it’s nice to be with people that are as bad as you,” he explains, showing that age shouldn’t be a deterrent when it comes to trying something new.