Anti-Aging Benefits of Exercise

Everyone knows that exercise is good for you — it helps manage weight, improves muscle and bone strength, and even lifts your spirits. It can also add years to your life. Exercise is sometimes a way of “giving your body a bigger boost without needing any drugs in your system.”

Researchers from the University College London found that “healthy agers,” or physically active older adults, had a lower risk for chronic diseases such as arthritis. Evidence suggests that exercise also helps delay cognitive impairment. Another study found that just 15 minutes a day of moderate-intensity activity extended people’s lives by three years or exercising at very light levels reduced deaths from any cause by 14 percent. It’s never too late — or too soon — to make exercise a part of your routine. Even older adults and people who may be coping with a chronic condition can benefit from a workout plan that fits their lifestyle. [1]

In addition, new research shows that regular physical activity can reduce the inflammation in the body that comes with aging, which could also help decrease your risk of developing related diseases and conditions—like heart disease, depression, and loss of muscle mass. Here are some tips to help you find the sweet spot of exercise.

  • Meet the physical activity guidelines each week by breaking it into 20 to 30 minutes sessions each day. Activities that count include running, walking, cycling, gardening, and housework.
  • Avoid extreme exercise—anything over 70 percent of your maximum effort for more than 30 minutes counts. Previous studies have shown that this level of intensity can actually increase inflammation.
  • Try interval training for a short, but potent, workout.
  • Build up gradually. As you strengthen your body, what felt difficult last month will suddenly be a walk (or run) in the park. [2]

Even people for whom physical activity can be painful, such as patients with osteoarthritis, can find ways to benefit from some exercise. These people typically do better with specific exercises. People with osteoarthritis can benefit from strengthening the muscles around their joints. So if someone has arthritis in their knees, strengthening their quads [muscles in your thigh crucial to walking] can take some of the pressure off the degenerated joint. [1]”

So, if you have any health concerns, consult your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.

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[1] http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/best-anti-aging-medicine-exercise/

[2] http://www.mensfitness.com/life/4-ways-get-better-everything-according-science