How to use exercise to make the aging process move a little bit slower.
It keeps you fit, helps you control your weight, and is a great aid in your quest to fend off disease.
But those aren’t the only perks of regular exercise. According to research, hitting the gym regularly can fend off the effects of aging. These studies have found that cells stay younger for longer in a person who exercises.
While getting older is a natural part of life, you don’t have to show your age. Here’s how exercise can help slow the inevitable.
“I’ve Fallen and Can’t Get Up”
It’s common to lose muscle mass as you age. As muscle mass decreases, so does your strength. When your muscles are weak, you have a harder time performing simple daily tasks—including maintaining your balance, which puts you at an increased risk for falling and breaking bones.
How much muscle mass is lost and how quickly it’s lost depends largely on how well you take care of your body. An active lifestyle and regular exercise can substantially slow muscle loss and strengthen new muscle, and it’s never too late to begin protecting your muscles by upping your strength.
To keep your muscles in tip-top shape, perform strength exercises several days a week in addition to regular cardio exercises. For even greater muscle strength, include stretching and balance exercises as well.
“What Did You Say Again?”
Have you resigned yourself to the idea that you’ll wear a hearing aid someday? You may not need one as soon as you think if you start working out. That’s right! Exercise has been shown to aid your hearing. Sound crazy? Scientists would disagree. Because their studies have found that by improving blood circulation to your inner ear, exercise helps to keep your hearing mechanisms working their best.
“I Can’t Read the Fine Print”
Add improved eyesight to the list of benefits of exercise. Severe vision loss in those over 60 is most commonly caused by age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Fortunately for you, an active lifestyle and exercising at least three times a week has been shown to reduce your risk for developing one type of AMD by 70 percent! Physical activity works to reduce inflammation and irregularities found in the blood vessels in the back of the eye. In other words, exercise actually corrects issues with your eyes and helps you maintain your vision. Exercise also keeps the cells of the eye essentially biologically younger and therefore not as susceptible to disease and the negative effects of aging.
“My Skin is Wrinkly”
As you know, your skin most often tells your age. Wrinkled skin is a definite sign of aging, but you may be able to fend off the fine lines and wrinkles without expensive procedures. How? Exercise.
When you exercise, your heart and lungs work to deliver oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to all parts of your body, including your skin. (Hence the flushed complexion following a workout.) This flow of oxygen and nutrients enables the skin to produce collagen (the protein responsible for smooth, plump skin).
Extra collagen isn’t the only factor that gives you younger skin. What’s under your skin matters as well. Firmer muscles support healthy skin and minimize cellulite, and firmer facial muscles are the result of working out.
“What’s Your Name Again?”
Research now shows that exercise is not only good for your body, but your brain as well. As you age, your brain generally shrinks, leading to a decline in memory and increased risk for dementia. Those who perform cardio exercises regularly tend to have larger brains than those who don’t exercise, due mainly to an increased flow of blood to the brain. So if you want a bigger, brighter brain, get to the gym!
“I Take So Many Medications”
It’s been said, “There’s no pill that can do what exercise does.” And it’s true. Many diseases once attributed to aging are now thought to be the result of inactivity. Exercise reduces your risk for an array of diseases often associated with aging: arthritis, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and depression.
If you live in the Gilbert area, treat yourself right by calling or emailing today to get started on an exercise program that will change your life for the best.
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