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Let’s talk longevity! While yoga has been found to support health and longevity in numerous studies (1-3), not everyone is good at or attracted to yoga.
First Choose an Exercise for Your Type
According to Ayurveda, your body type may determine the kind of exercise that is best for you.
- Vata (winter) body types, who are light and naturally more flexible, may be attracted to yoga because they are naturally good at it.
- Kapha (spring) body types, who are bigger and stronger with more endurance, are not nearly as flexible as most vata types, and often prefer other activities such as hiking or weight training (because they are naturally good at it).
- The pitta (summer) fiery types, who are a combination of vata and kapha, are generally good at most physical activities.
Learn more about how to choose a sport based on your Ayurvedic body type in my book, Body, Mind and Sport.
Longevity Comes From Different Paths
A new study measured more than 30,000 adults over 65 years of age who performed strength training with weights two times a week. The results of the study were staggering: the weight training group substantially decreased mortality risk by a whopping 46 percent. (4,5)
In the study, the exercises including weight training for the legs, hips, back, arms, chest and abdomen. Not only did they have a 46 percent decreased risk of dying from any cause compared to the non-exercisers, the weight training group had a 41 percent reduced risk of dying from heart disease. (4,5) The study reported that if they weight trained just twice a week, they had a 19 percent reduced risk of getting cancer as well. (4,5)
Previous studies have linked strength training with improved muscle mass, and reduced risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, lower back pain and obesity. Clearly, stronger muscles are a great asset to navigate aging, as it may result in better stamina, physical function, and balance, but this is the first time strength training has been so closely tied to longevity. (4,5)
The American College of Sports Medicine suggests 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day five days a week. You do not need to go to a gym to make this happen. Push-ups, sit-ups, squats, walking stairs or raising cans of food up and down over your head make this a very doable task right in your home.