The benefits of exercise are, simply put, extraordinary to your overall health and longevity. In fact, being sedentary as you age can cut years off your life. We are here to share everything science says about the exercise habits that slow aging. Want to make your body and brain 10 years younger? If so, read on to learn the facts. And next up, don’t miss The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
As you age, your body loses lean muscle mass. You’re also at risk of developing chronic health conditions such as dementia, heart disease, reduced immune function, and more. It also becomes challenging as you age to recover quickly from any illness or injury. It even gets difficult to rebound after exercising aggressively—especially if you’re not used to a certain workout routine. Keeping your body in shape can help to put the breaks on life a bit and slow things down when it comes to feeling the effects of aging in so many positive ways.
Exercise keeps your body young, from the inside out. Working out routinely benefits everything, including your heart, lungs, muscles, and healthy skin. A workout helps circulate blood and oxygen and delivers necessary nutrients to all vital organs. If you want to stay as youthful as possible, it’s safe to say, exercise is your very best friend.
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Exercising consistently throughout your lifetime in general slows down the aging process, according to a study performed by the University of Birmingham. Researchers observed two groups of adults. One group of individuals aged 55 to 79 exercised routinely during their entire lifetime, while the other group (a combo of both younger and older adults) did not exercise on a regular basis.
The findings revealed that the individuals who exercise consistently defied the process of aging. They were found to have the cholesterol levels, muscle mass, and immunity “of a young person.” Pretty impressive, right?
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Get ready for more science that backs up the exercise habits that slow aging. Research proves regular exercise—specifically “dynamic exercise of moderate intensity” that exceeds 70% to 80% of your max heart rate, such as aerobic workouts, biking, and briskly walking—helps reduce the effects of aging when it comes to cardiorespiratory fitness. These endurance workouts provide a restoring impact on a possible contributor to cardiovascular disease. Bottom line? Routine exercise is sheer goodness.
A sedentary lifestyle is a major no-no—and it’s not too late to reverse it. Research performed by UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources reveals getting up and active can “reverse damage” to sedentary hearts, helping avoid the potential risk of heart failure. If you’ve been living a more sedentary lifestyle, routine exercise should begin before you hit 65 to be the most beneficial, and you should be diligent four to five times each week.
You heard that one right! By working out, you can keep your brain as much as 10 years younger. According to an observational study published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, exercise in older individuals has been linked to a more gradual decline in thinking skills that come with age. Individuals who performed little to no exercise were found to have a decrease in thinking skills of 10 years, compared to those individuals who performed moderate to vigorous exercise.
“The number of people over the age of 65 in the United States is on the rise, meaning the public health burden of thinking and memory problems will likely grow,” explains study author Clinton B. Wright, MD, MS of the University of Miami and member of the American Academy of Neurology. He adds, “Our study showed that for older people, getting regular exercise may be protective, helping them keep their cognitive abilities longer.”
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more