Stop and think about the anti-aging benefits of exercise before you come up with an excuse to skip the gym or snooze through your morning walk next time.
A consistent workout routine can improve your energy level during the day while helping you maintain a healthy bodyweight, but what else can it do for your aging body? We did the research to give you 10 great reasons to keep moving.
1. Routine exercise lowers your risk of heart disease and cancer.
Anti-aging goes much further than eliminating fine lines and wrinkles. When you start thinking a little deeper, you see that taking care of your body through exercise and proper nutrition can also keep your heart strong and healthy. It has equal benefits for every organ inside your body, including your skin.
Research has shown that people who invest heavily in fitness are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease or cancer. Those who are diagnosed with cardiovascular disease can lower the impact of the disease on their bodies by remaining physically active. Even better, those with cardiovascular disease can lower their risk of dying from many other diseases by investing in physical fitness. These are just a few of the heart-related anti-aging benefits of exercise!
2. Exercise keeps your body youthful at the cellular level.
How short are your telomeres? This is a fancy word for the small cap that is found on every chromosome in the human body. The caps protect your cells, allowing them to remain strong and healthy. As your body ages, the telomeres become shorter and provide less protection. This is when you start to experience many signs of aging and are at greater risk for disease.
Research has now proven that we can keep your telomeres longer and stronger through exercise that is regular and vigorous. You can turn back your biological clock by giving your body one good workout after another.
3. Routine exercise protects and improves functioning of the lungs.
Performing a challenging exercise increases your breathing rate. Your lungs and heart are working hard to produce more oxygen and spread it around your body to aid those muscles that you’re conditioning. While you may not realize it, you’re also conditioning your lungs to produce more oxygen while properly eliminating the carbon dioxide that is produced when oxygen is turned into energy.
When an exercise becomes easier to perform, it’s at least partially due to greater efficiency of your lungs and heart. You’re helping your lungs do their job more efficiently so that you can breathe easily as you age. Who knew how amazing the anti-aging benefits of exercise for your lungs could be?
4. Your level of physical fitness likely determines your cognitive performance.
While it’s still uncertain whether exercise can help improve memory for people suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, there is a clear relationship between cognitive functioning and physical fitness. Research has shown that people with higher levels of fitness perform better and mentally react faster on cognitive tests. Add your brain to the list of organs that are kept young and healthy by routine exercise.
5. Exercise improves your balance and naturally reduces your risk of falling.
The time you spend walking, swimming, lifting dumbbells or doing stretches in your living room could keep you on your feet with fewer injuries due to falling. It’s common to think that falls come along with getting older, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Exercise improves your balance and keeps your muscles strong, allowing you to safely perform more everyday activities without injury. This includes a much lower risk of falling.
6. Your level of physical fitness may determine how your body responds to an injury.
When you do suffer from an injury due to a fall or other circumstances, you’re likely to heal faster and more efficiently if you’ve remained loyal to your fitness routine. One study found that ballet dancers with the best aerobic capacities suffered fewer injuries and were able to recover from injuries faster than dancers with lower levels of fitness. You don’t have to be a ballet dancer to get the same benefits.
7. Improving your fitness level reduces your risk of cancer.
Some of the most powerful research regarding the anti-aging benefits of exercise is centered on the prevention of cancer. We now know that greater levels of physical fitness correlate to lower risk for colon, breast and endometrial cancer. There’s a possibility that your exercise routine could help you avoid other types of cancer as well.
8. Exercise is a powerful tool in the fight against diabetes.
How many people do you know with type II diabetes? This disease is now so common that most people know at least a few people who have it, and some people just consider it a normal part of aging. This isn’t a condition that has to come with age, and research is showing that people who exercise regularly and have higher levels of fitness are less likely to suffer from diabetes.
9. Some forms of exercise improve mitochondrial functionality.
You don’t have to fully understand mitochondria to know that your exercise routine is boosting their power. They’re responsible for supporting every organ in your body and are required for you to remain alive and healthy. They naturally get weaker and less effective as you age, but research has shown that cardiovascular exercise can boost their power and make them stronger. One study in particular found that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) was more effective for mitochondrial activity than strength training, so lace up your sneakers and head out for a walk/jog session.
10. Exercise improves your mood.
Perhaps this is one of the most important anti-aging benefits of exercise because it makes your life more enjoyable while helping to keep every cell and organ in your body more youthful and energetic. Exercise causes hormonal changes that make you feel happier and that lift your mood, and that happiness has a major impact on your overall health and wellness. There’s no better way to look and feel younger to smile.
Now that you understand the anti-aging benefits of exercise, it’s time to commit to a workout routine and get started. What can you do to help your body age beautifully?