The Value of Balance
Before you decide that hard work is the way to prevent aging, consider that “work” as defined by physics is not synonymous with sweat and strain.
Work is needed to create orderliness and oppose the force of entropy. Exercise has a quantum effect, regardless of how much or little you do, by giving the body a chance to restore subtle patterns of functioning. Because the body uses both creation and destruction to keep its vital processes going, doing constant work is not the answer. Exercise has to be balanced by rest, because there is extensive muscle destruction during exercise that needs to be restored in periods of rest.
In every area of life the key is balance, a very general term that can be broken down into four headings: Moderation, Regularity, Rest, and Activity. Moderation means not going to extremes. Regularity means following a consistent routine. Rest means rest. Activity means activity. The cycle of rest and activity in lower animals is dictated by instinct, which humans are free to override. If we override it in the wrong direction, then we actually hasten entropy.
Adapted from The Essential Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2007).