Get Faster, Smarter, Thinner & Younger With This Miracle Drug!
What if I told you I’d discovered a wonder drug – a drug that will help you lose weight, improve your mood, boost your cognitive function, and help you look years younger? And did I mention that this wonder drug is free of negative side effects? Oh, and best of all, it won’t cost you a penny.
This miracle drug is cardio. You’ve likely heard me talk about the power of cardio many times – in particular, the key role of interval training for shedding bellyfat. But scientific research continues to prove, again and again, that the benefits of cardio extend far beyond weight loss. It turns out that cardio has the potential to transform – not just the way you look, but the way you think and feel.
CARDIO: It makes you happier.
I’ve often told the story of how I discovered my passion for running after losing my parents at a young age. After battling depression and a feeling of hopelessness, I started jogging, and was amazed at the difference I felt after these runs. Suddenly the clouds seemed to part just a bit. The world, and life in general, seemed brighter and more manageable. It literally felt like a weight had been lifted. And so my journey began, from the lost, orphaned college student to a woman on a mission. It was how I discovered my love of exercise (and my desire to share this with others), and it was the beginning of quest for more of whatever that feeling was.
So when I experienced that peaceful feeling I got from running, what was going on there? We’ve all heard of runner’s high. But let’s talk about what that really means.
Cardio activities like running, cycling, rowing, using an elliptical, or hiking outdoors, release a whole flood of endorphins and feel-good chemicals into the brain: There’s dopamine, which gives our brain the “reward” signal; and serotonin, which is the happiness hormone. Dopamine and serotonin are designed to make us feel good, and they actually resemble opiates in the way they create a feeling of well-being – and they can even provide a natural sense of pain relief.
That’s because when you do cardio, you activate the same parts of the brain that are involved when you fall in love, or when you listen to music that gives you that “chill” feeling of euphoria. And there’s more: cardio can even battle depression. A study at Duke University found that doing moderate cardio just 3 times a week was just as effective as Zoloft in reducing major depression.
CARDIO: It makes you younger.
There’s an important relationship between cardio and our chromosomes. And at the center of that relationship is something called telomeres. Telomeres are the bits of DNA found on the tips of our chromosomes. And these little DNA bits are incredibly important; in 2009, several scientists won the Nobel Prize for discovering the true function of telomeres. When we experience physical and mental stress, telomeres start to erode, which kills cells and leads to premature aging, while also damaging our immune systems. So, to break it down for you: Shorter telomeres, bad. Longer telomeres, good.
And how do you lengthen those telomeres? A few years ago, German scientists studied telomeres in middle-aged people, and how those telomeres were affected by running. Now, the study found that if you lead a sedentary lifestyle from, say, age 20 to age 60, where you hardly exercise at all, you lose about 75% of your telomeres over the years. That means your body is aging, and you’re facing everything that comes with aging, both inside and outside the body. But in this German study, they found that middle-aged people who jogged on a regular basis had almost the same amount of telomeres as people half their age! So, thanks to the effects of cardio exercise on our telomeres, a group of 60 year olds were able to achieve the bodies of 30 year olds. The doctors who led the study were quoted as saying that those people all behaved and looked years younger than people their same age who didn’t exercise.
Bottom line: If you want to lengthen your telomeres so you can feel and look years younger….You’d better do some cardio.
CARDIO: It makes you better at your job.
We’re all trying to find a way to perform at a higher level and boost productivity at work, in ourselves and in our employees. I did an interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show about this – because I’d reached a point in my life when suddenly, my stress levels had reached a boiling point, and it started to affect both my home life and my work life. We live in an incredibly fast-paced world, and the pressure is on all of us to keep up with it. We’re all trying to work more quickly and more efficiently. And it turns out cardio can help us do that.
In 1991, they did a study on the effects of aerobic exercise on the brain, and the researchers coined the term “Executive Control.” The Executive Control theory is that, the more complex the mental task, the more beneficial the effects of aerobic exercise. In other words, the more you do cardio, the better you could be at your job.
There are so many examples of Fortune 500 companies whose top CEOs say that fitness is a big factor in the success of their businesses. Take Kellogg’s, for example. I’ve appeared on their cereal boxes quite a few times, so I’ve always paid attention to what’s going on in their company. Their former CEO and current chairman, James Jenness, is a running fanatic – he says it’s his stress reliever, his perspective regainer, and his personal reinvigorator – because it helps him with the discipline and focus that his job demands. He’s in his 60s, running a multi-billion-dollar company, traveling around the world, and still finding the time to run 60 miles a week, because he’s found that’s the key to helping him manage the stress of his job.
Studies show that employees are 15 percent more efficient on days that they exercised. 15 percent may not sound like much, but think about it: That means that, on days that you exercise, you could accomplish in an 8 hour day what would normally take you 9 and a half hours. So why not try it? After all, if you boost your productivity, you’re also likely to see a nice boost in pay.