It’s a no-brainer that exercise is good for you! It keeps you fit and strong, improves your immunity and makes your clothes fit a whole heap better. But, there’s another benefit to staying active that’s a lot less talked about… Exercising keeps you looking and feeling younger! Even just a moderate amount of physical activity every week can shave years off your biological age, regardless of how many birthdays you’ve celebrated. Read on to learn more about how exercise keeps you young.
How Exercise Keeps You Young
Regular workouts help us as we age by:
- Giving you more energy – Working out is like nature’s energy drink. It switches your body and brain on so you feel more alert and energetic.
- Boosting the elasticity of your skin – People who exercise have significantly more supple, elastic skin than people who don’t.
- Protecting you from heart disease – Problems such as high blood pressure and cholesterol often occur as we age. However, exercising improves the strength of your heart and naturally manages blood pressure and cholesterol to reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
- Encouraging better posture – Muscle loss and changes to your bone density can cause your posture to decline as you age. However, strength training counters both of these things to encourage you to stand tall.
- Promoting flexibility – Stiff and tight muscles are enough to make anyone feel old! But, regular workouts that involve stretching help to lengthen muscles and work out knots to make you feel young and nimble.
- Speeding up your metabolism – As we age, our metabolism naturally slows. However, regular workouts that encourage the maintenance of lean muscle speed up your metabolism so your waistline doesn’t feel the effects of aging.
- Improving your memory – Regular exercise can physically increase the size of the part of your brain that deals with memories. As such, people who keep fit as they age generally enjoy better cognitive skills.
- Reducing inflammation – Inflammation anywhere in the body can contribute to aging, illness and sore joints. However, moderate exercise naturally lowers inflammation, keeping you healthier from inside to out.
- Increasing sex drive – A boost in blood flow from regular movement makes your body more responsive and gives you more confidence.
A recent research study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assessed the biological age of nearly 6,000 adults. They found that people who exercise can easily appear up to 9 years younger than those who were sedentary.
Telomeres, the protein-built caps found at the end of our chromosomes, naturally get depleted every time a cell replicates. In general, people who have shorter telomeres are more likely to develop chronic diseases and die sooner. As such, it’s a useful, although not completely accurate way of mapping our biological age.
This study looked at the length of telomeres in older people who exercises versus those who didn’t exercise. After taking into account other factors such as smoking, obesity, alcohol usage and gender, they concluded that people who exercised regularly had significantly longer telomeres. The people who did 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week showed the best results. However, doing less was also linked to substantial benefits in preventing aging.
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While there’s no promise that exercising will make you live longer, what’s the harm in trying? If exercising keeps you looking and feeling younger in the meantime, that’s a win in my books!
Even if you’re not currently active, it’s never too late to start moving. But, it’s a good idea to ask for the help of a qualified professional who knows how to ease you into a program that’s appropriate for your current fitness level.
If you’re located in the St Kilda area, get in touch with me about starting personal training sessions. These can be conducted one-on-one or you can bring a friend or partner along for extra enjoyment and accountability.