Doing lots of exercise in older age can prevent the immune system from declining which will protect people from infections, scientists say.
They followed 125 long-distance cyclists, some now in their 80s, and found they had the immune systems of 20-year-olds, as reported by BBC News.
Professor Norman Lazarus, 82, of King’s College London, who took part in and co-authored the research, said:
“If exercise were a pill, everyone would be taking it.
“It has wide-ranging benefits for the body, the mind, for our muscles and our immune system.”
Ironically, in the midst of the current trend towards sedentary lifestyles, what we might call the Age of Sitting, people find it very difficult to sit! — or at least to sit still! In fact, we contemporary people live totally different lives from the time when the traditional sitting meditations were created, millennia ago! For exactly that reason Osho has devised active meditations which combine active and passive states. Recent studies have shown that regular practice of meditation can have a positive impact on health, resulting in lower blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration; a reduction in anxiety and anger; alleviating insomnia and mild to moderate depression… which in turn lead to other benefits.
Many doctors and researchers have speculated about the reasons meditation produces these effects, but a credible scientific explanation has been elusive until now. Researchers sought to test a particular theory: that in people who are stressed, anxious or depressed, the right frontal cortex of the brain is often overactive, and the left frontal cortex relatively underactive. Many such people also show heightened activation of the amygdala, considered to be the seat of fear in the brain.
By contrast, people who are usually calm and happy typically show higher activity in the left frontal cortex, relative to the right. These folks also pump out less of the stress hormone cortisol, recover faster from adverse events, and have higher levels of the white blood cells that battle infection and are a measure of immune system function. These early studies suggest that the subtleties of mind, long known subjectively to proficient meditators, may prove capable of being understood objectively as well.
What researchers are trying to prove clinically has been the experience of meditators down the millennia. In the modern world, Osho has designed active and cathartic meditations which have a scientific foundation, and they have been working wonders on thousands of people. Osho says:
“The practice of meditation will have many physiological results too. Some physical diseases can disappear, longevity can increase, and many chemical changes can take place in the body. Numerous glands of the body that are at the moment as good as dead can be active Meditation has profound chemical effects on the body. In fact, the whole chemistry of the body changes. The body begins to perceive, think and understand things in a different way altogether. All the electric circuits of the body change.”
Just as lots of things happen in the body, a great deal occurs at the level of the mind, too. The possibilities are numerous. By living unconsciously, we accumulate many toxins in the body and an archive of thoughts, memories, and wounds in the mind. Osho’s active meditations cleanse all this debris, rejuvenating the entire system, and it is terrific that this is now being supported by scientific research. This means it will attract younger, educated people who like to test everything against the benchmark of science, and meditation which will completely change their lives for the better.
The OSHO Times Editorial Team.