There are numerous reasons to incorporate active habits into your daily lifestyle. In addition to what we already know, studies are now confirming that as we age, the fight against Father Time can be aided by exercise. It also makes us more powerful. Older adults who regularly participate in aerobic activities, such as running, have better horsepower than sedentary adults, meaning they get more bang for the buck with every step. Much like a vehicle, our fuel economy runs at a higher quality as we age if we take care of the engine.
Exercise helps our skin look and feel younger, too. When we exercise, we increase blood flow to our skin, which is why we look flushed. This triggers a rise in temperature and production of suede in order to cool off. Skin cells stay fresher and more youthful by being recharged when we sweat because toxins are released as we cool off. More oxygen circulating also means waste elimination.
As we age, we lose muscle mass and bone density. This can affect our posture. Strength training can prevent further bone and muscle loss, which will lead to better posture. A strong core and lower back will also keep you looking and feeling nice and tall.
In addition to posture, age will reduce flexibility. Certain types of exercise are especially good at helping with that. Pilates combines low-impact flexibility and strength-training exercises and yoga-based endurance movements. Yoga often puts people off because they are under the impression they need to be flexible. In actuality, yoga can help increase flexibility and reduce the risk of getting injured. Hip injuries, in particular, are incredibly dangerous for older adults and are deemed a death sentence.
In addition to the physical benefits of exercise, there are cognitive ones, as well. Regular exercise promotes blood vessel growth in our brains and increases the portion known as the hippocampus, which is responsible for our learning and memory traits. When we exercise, more oxygen gets circulated, increasing the size of that part of our brain and keeping us sharp and focused.
For those of us who worry about metabolism, it’s an unfortunate fact that it slows down as we age. Weight gain leads to a host of other illnesses such as strokes, cardiac issues, and Type II diabetes. The more muscle mass we get from strength training, the more efficiently we will burn calories and prevent further weight gain.