How Exercise Can Slow the Effects of Aging
Since as early as we can remember, we’ve been told to exercise since it is “good for our health.” We all know this to be true as nearly everything we read or hear about exercise backs this message up and now new studies however have revealed that exercise can actually counteract the effects of aging, which is reason enough to hop on that treadmill!
According to a Los Angeles Times article (and their contributing experts on the subject), there are many ailments that can be offset by exercise as listed below –
“Motor Neurons Die”
It’s just a general fact that as we age, especially over 60, motor neurons begin to die which is part of the reason some may experience limited mobility as the muscles typically begin to shrink. Exercise though can keep these muscles strong and healthy and even counteract some of the effects we feel from this. Of course, it is a natural process that we cannot halt but we can help slow down it’s impact on our bodies.
“Some types of muscle are lost more quickly than others”
No one likes to hear that they will inevitably lose muscle, but fast-twitch muscles will degenerate faster than slow-twitch muscle fibers and activities like cycling and other endurance exercises can help and may actually benefit from the higher concentration of slow-twitch fibers which can aid in endurance.
“Maximal oxygen consumption decreases”
As we age, less oxygen can come into the body which often leads to breathing problems. When aerobic activity is continued throughout later adulthood, this can actually help improve breathing.
“Wear and tear builds up on the joints”
While it might sound counter-intuitive, regular exercise can actually help joint health over time since blood flow is continually stimulated to these areas during exercise.
Another aspect that many overlook is the fact that mental health is something that often declines in older adults as well. When you continue to exercise throughout your life, most people experience an overall lift in general mood. This can also help keep the brain sharp and keep boredom and depression at bay.
No matter what your age, it’s never too late to start working out!