Why Is Exercise important as We Age?
Aging is a natural part of life where the body gradually deteriorates over time from biological and environmental influences. There are certain things we do that alter the effects of aging. For example, the body was designed to move, primarily in an upright position. However, if we become sedentary and sit too much, the unhealthier we become and it expedites the aging process. Symptoms associated with aging include the following:
- Decreased mobility and flexibility
- Decrease in basal metabolic rate and an increase in weight
- Increased risk of metabolic issues and disease
- Hormonal changes
- Decrease in bone mass and muscle mass
- Decreased cardiovascular efficiency
- Increased stress and inflammation from normal wear and tear on the body
Aging is inevitable but we can partially impact the outcome of the aging process by living heathier – eating a balanced diet with regular exercise. These things help to slow down the effects of aging. Even just a brisk 30-minute walk 5x a week, for a total of 150 minutes a week, can do wonders for the body. For more intense physical activity, only 75 minutes a week, allows you to reap the same benefits.
Exercise has been shown to help with the following:
- Elevated mood
- Increase in bone mass and muscle mass
- Weight maintenance or loss
- Hormone regulation to some extent, especially related to stress
- Increased movement and flexibility leading to less pain and tightness
- Lowered risk of inflammation and disease
- Increased metabolic efficiency
- Increased longevity
Exercise can sometimes seem like an optional tedious chore but it has vast benefits to keep our bodies healthy for as long as possible. Some forms of exercise and activities include:
To reduce the risk of injury, remember to strength and take things slow, because the healing process takes longer as we get older.