Joggling is fun and that’s the primary reason I do it. But the reason I started running back in 1993 was strictly for the health of it. Living to 107 required some exercising and running was the cheapest sport I’d could find.
I also read the book Fit or Fat and was inspired by the fact that to be healthy, you only needed to run 15 – 20 minutes a day. That’s a time commitment a person could handle.
Exercise is not enough
Unfortunately, this recent research about exercise and calorie restriction demonstrates that exercise is not enough to boost your life expectancy. In their work, researchers compared blood samples from three groups.
1. Calorie Restriction Society (CRS) members – Who average only 1800 calories a day!
2. Sedentary group who ate a standard diet.
3. Endurance group who ate a standard diet – approximately 2700 calories a day.
The results were that people who were sedentary had the highest level of a T3 molecule known to speed aging in animal studies. The Endurance group had similar but slightly lower T3 levels but the CRS group had the lowest level of this molecule.
Bottom line: Calorie restriction may increase life expectancy better than exercise.
Calorie Restriction Society
The most interesting part is that there is a Calorie Restriction Society. They are a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching people how to live life on a calorie restricted diet.
Their hypothesis is if you eat less, you will be healthier and live longer.
Their plan calls for people to eat an average of 1800 calories a day. Do any of the JYAJ regulars think they could live on 1800 calories a day?
Not sure I could but I could cut down the number of calories I’m having. Right now I’m averaging 2100 for the year.
The other side of calorie restriction
Before you jump right into the calorie restriction lifestyle there are some things to consider that aren’t mentioned on the Calorie Restriction Society’s webpage.
At a recent Society of Cosmetic Chemists meeting there was a speaker who discussed calorie restriction experiments. On the plus side, you live 30% longer. On the minus side, you are always hungry, your a little cranky, and you suffer from low libido! You also reportedly look older according to this USA Today story.
Then there is the other fact that it hasn’t been proven to work in humans. Could you imagine restricting your eating for years only to find out that it didn’t work?
I don’t think I’ll be trying this calorie restriction diet any time soon. I’m betting my longevity on long distance joggling, some calorie restriction, future scientific advances and luck. The best research shows that your genes play the biggest role in your life expectancy. Let’s hope I won the genetic lottery.