Anti aging exercises.
Two hundred fifty thousand deaths each year are due to physical inactivity. Sixty percent of adults are sedentary, with no improvement in activity levels over the last 20 years in spite of extensive research confirming the health benefits of exercise. Documented health benefits of exercise include prevention of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, hypertension, improved mental health, energy levels and more. Johns Hopkins Over 50 Newsletter called exercise the single most important anti-aging measure anyone can follow.
Aging for many people is associated with a decline in strength, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, bone density, and mental function. Most of this physiologic decline stems from inactivity and is not a natural consequence of aging. Recent research supports that it’s never too late to start anti aging exercises and that even small increases can have great benefits. Studies show exercise can add 2-6 years to your life and improve the quality of your life dramatically. For those of you who are trying to lose weight, guess what’s the main predictor of success in maintaining weight loss? You guessed it, EXERCISE!
Combine all types of exercise for the maximum anti-aging effect:
* Cardiovascular- at least 30 minutes on most days. Adults lose aerobic function at a rate of 1% per year starting at age 20. A study showed that in just 3 months, a 60-year old could regain the aerobic function of a 40-year old! If you already are doing 30 minutes daily, consider increasing the frequency or duration of your workout.
* Strength training- 2-3 times per week. You lose muscle mass gradually after age 30. In the U.S., about 50% of women over 65 cannot lift 10 pounds. It’s never too late to start, benefits start to show at about 3 weeks and only continue to improve. Strength training not only makes you stronger, but it maintains bone density, prevents falls, and increases metabolism. So it helps control weight.
* Flexibility- At least 4 times per week. Stretching is easy to do at home even while watching TV. Many people neglect stretching exercises but it’s an integral part of the exercise prescription for healthy aging. If performed properly, stretching helps with movement, prevents injuries and is beneficial for the aches and pains which many people associate with aging.
* Mind/body- Research shows that mind/body exercise such as yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates is helpful for emotional and physical health.
Most people know they should exercise, yet the average adult spends 10-15 hours each day immobile. Often new exercisers are initially highly motivated to change but after a few months they lose interest. Research shows if you can exercise regularly for 6 months, you have made a change which can easily last a lifetime. How do you stay motivated to exercise?
* Get an exercise partner
* Do exercise you enjoy, vary your routine and add music
* Schedule your exercise
* Set goals and reward yourself for achieving them
* Identify your barriers to exercise
* Consider hiring an exercise professional such as personal trainer
Remember: Start your anti aging exercises gradually. If you have health problems or a strong family history of heart disease, consult your doctor before starting a program.
Authors Details: Anti Aging Exercises – Doctor Julie Larsen, of the State Medical Society, is Medical Director at West Wood Health and Fitness Center, Pewaukee.