Exercise can help you lose weight, keep it off and look great. Exercise also plays a role in slowing the aging process. As we are all living longer, it has never been more important to exercise into our later years in order to maintain strength and independence.
In order to reap the anti-aging benefits of exercise, one does not have to be a fanatic, or do it exhaustively and vigorously. For an older person who has not exercised much in his or her life, taking 30 minute walks or gardening can provide great health benefits and prolong the quality of life.
- aqua gymnastics
- riding bike
For the most optimal benefits, though, aerobic activity alone is not enough. As we age, it does not help to support our muscles or weight. Strength training is crucial because it increases balance, strength, and improves the posture. Strength training decreases the likelihood of developing osteo- or rheumatoid arthritis.
The most important factor in exercising as we age is the maintaining of independence. For older people, independence is priceless. Through moderate exercise that includes strength training, the motor functions will keep working properly, the chance of falling decreases, and the confidence to perform tasks remains and increases. Strength training of some type can also help increase the metabolism and aid in controlling body weight gains in later life.
The benefits of exercise are numerous. Moderate exercise can not only slow down the aging process, it can also help to relieve some of the problems that are commonly associated with getting older, including:
- Relieving insomnia
- Relieving back and joint pain
- Reliving stress and tension
- Increasing sociability
- Increasing flexibility
- Increasing muscle tone
- Maintaining a healthy weight or helping in healthy weight loss
Exercise does not have to be scary or painful. It can be fun, and can provide many benefits beyond physical health. In addition to helping you age gracefully, it helps you keep your independence, helps you to maintain a high quality of life, gives you more self-confidence to do anything, and it can be a great social outlet. While growing older is scary, the fears can be diminished a bit by taking control of your life and body, and naturally slowing down the aging process through moderate exercise and strength training. It is never too late to start!