Science doesn’t lie when it says that exercising becomes more important as you age. People who exercise regularly tend to have higher life expectancies and a higher quality of life. They are able to move around better, and experience less aches and pains. But yet there is this stipulation that exists about exercising as we age, and the notion of, “I’m too old to do that!”
It’s easy to think that exercising can bring about sore muscles and joints. But here’s the truth about that: Exercising actually makes these things better. So if you’re experiencing those general aging aches and pains, there’s no better time than now to get started and watch that stuff clear itself up.
Exercise has many benefits no matter how old you are, but as you get a little bit older, those benefits become so very important. From an endless list of physical benefits, it also impacts our mental health as well. And if you have never exercised in the past, you’re in the best position to make changes out of them all! Science tells us that those that start exercising in our later years versus those younger than us, experience better life changing factors to help you become healthier, and live longer.
Helps to Maintain or Lose Weight
This is an obvious point. Naturally we become a little more sedentary as we age. We aren’t as active playing sports, or getting out like we once did. Exercise or movement may look a little different nowadays. And over the course of this more sedentary lifestyle, we start to see that scale creep up.
With a little bit more regular exercise and movement in general, we can help work on our body composition and keep us within or working towards healthier levels. Generally we become more aware of our health factors as we age, and exercise is a great way to help make body composition changes that will support positive changes in those health factors like our cholesterol levels, insulin management, etc.
Reduce The Impact of Illness and Chronic Disease
Earlier in the week we wrote about exercise and nutrition influencing our immune system, and some tips to help us manage that during these COVID-19 times. With a little boost of movement in our days, it gets our blood moving healthy nutrients all over our body and allocating resources where they need to be to help fight for us.
And again, with more regular exercise, things like our weight and body fat levels can be managed, which ultimately leads to more positive support of our health measures. With exercise and a balanced diet, we can manage systemic inflammation and either get control of, or stay above the chronic diseases that plague society today. Many of our clients have boasted coming off insulin dependence, and both cholesterol and high blood pressure medications simply after adding some regular exercise into their daily routine.
Better Mobility, Flexibility, and Balance
Let’s face it. The first thing we find as we age is our balance gets a little bit worse, and we don’t feel as mobile. And when we let these things get away, that’s when we become more sedentary. One thing leads to another, and somewhere down the line we’re experiencing a decline in our health.
If we stay moving through regular exercise, we are challenging our neurological system on the daily. This will keep our balance sharp – or at the very minimum, we are continuing to work at it and use it. By moving through the range of motion associated with squats, presses, and deadlifts, we will stay mobile in all the important positions we need to work within through our everyday lives.
Exercise will help keep your muscles strong, and help keep your joints feeling smooth. That’s everything we want right now!
Improve Your Sleep
Sleep is often a deteriorating factor as we age, especially for women. And as we age, a quality sleep becomes more important. This is where all the good stuff in our body happens. All the repair and recovery, hormone regulation — all the good stuff. So when we don’t sleep that well, we suffer in other ways during the day which might not be as recognizable coming from a lack of sleep. This looks like an increased appetite or craving for unhealthy foods, mood changes, and a lack of energy for example.
Regular exercise will help you get that good night’s quality sleep, sleep more deeply, and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the next day. These things are crucial as we become older. Don’t underestimate the effect of some exercise on our quality of sleep!
Exercise is a great way to stimulate our brains and all the mechanisms the brain is associated within our bodies. Hormone regulation, and memory are two very important areas, just to name a few. Exercise will help with memory loss, cognitive decline, and things further down the road such as dementia. Just a few vital key things we are all trying to avoid as we get older!
So What Does Exercise Look Like?
Well, don’t think you’ll be heading into the gym and putting a pile of weight on the bar and pumping iron until you’re blue in the face. Start slowly and build from there. Think of it like a bank account. The more you put into it, the more you’ll be able to withdraw from it later on in life. The more consistent you are with it, the longer it will be there for you.
And don’t forget that with every step you take forward, there may be some times when you get caught taking a step backwards. Illness or injury might pop up. But guess what? Those that have a fitness foundation to fall back on generally will recover quicker, and easier! No better time than now to be working on that foundation!