We all know that exercise keeps us healthy and fit. However, exercise does more than just keep our body in good physical condition. It acts in many ways to delay or mitigate some of the physical, mental and emotional effects of aging. Along the way, it also helps us look and feel younger!
Creams, lotions, moisturizers and other products applied to the skin may feel good, but they only work (or at least we hope they do) on the ‘outside’. Exercise helps defy the aging signs from the inside out.
There is scientific evidence which shows that aerobic exercises does improve memory retention and learning abilities. Walking for at least thirty minutes a day, at least four times a week, can greatly improve blood flow to the brain. This then provides more oxygen to the brain, which in turn prevents beta-amyloid plaques from building up, thus helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
So playing crossword puzzles, Sudoku and other mentally-stimulating games is definitely not the only way to keep your brain sharp. Exercise will too!
Younger Looking Skin
Exercising for at least three times a week has been shown to reverse the visible signs of aging, so our body looks younger. It is not only those in middle-age who will benefit from exercise. The same is true for people in their older years who regularly stick to their exercise regimen.
The portion of the skin referred to as stratum corneum is one of those areas that are benefited the most by regular exercise. Experts say that exercise preserves the health of the skin’s stratum corneum and even reverse its signs of aging. The stratum corneum is the part of the skin which readily displays aging effects as it sags, wrinkles, droops and thickens due to diminished elasticity and dying cells that naturally occur with aging.
As we age, we become more prone to falls and more susceptible to fractures when we do. However, a 2010 study showed that regular exercise can help reduce one’s risk of falling by as much as 13 per cent. This percentage may seem small but the fact is that one in every three adults aged 65 and older fall every year, according to research.
Falls can result in fractures, tissue and organ injuries and even death. One of the best exercises for improving balance is Tai Chi. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that Tai-Chi was effective in helping people prevent falls while their mental health was also improved.
Undertaking weight bearing exercises will cause new bone tissues to form thereby making your bones as well as your muscles stronger. The good news is that you do not have to be an athlete in order to achieve these benefits. Weight bearing exercises are easy to do and can be performed almost anywhere.
Examples of these exercises include climbing stairs, jogging, running, walking, tennis, dancing, basketball and many more. If you have a child or a teenager in your family, encourage them to do these exercises with you.
As well as encouraging you to exercise, this will help to “future-proof” the child from weak bones. This is because the greatest gains in bone mass can be achieved during or before and during puberty. They need to have as much bone mass as they can while they are still young to ensure they have greater bone mass as they age.
Don’t let that dishearten you, as bone density and strength can be improved at any age.