We have yet to find the fountain of youth, creams and pills don’t pass the test of time, makeup doesn’t last, and surgery…. who wants to walk around without facial expressions? But we are finding natural ways to delay the effects of aging that anyone can do and it costs next to nothing. Ready for this breakthrough remedy??……. Exercise! In a recent study of mice, those furry creatures were able to stop graying fur, hair loss, and brain and muscle atrophy more simply by hopping on the treadmill!. Yes, I know we are not mice, but we share 99 percent of genes with the mouse. So if mice can exercise to look and feel younger, so can you! And aside from the anti-aging effects, exercising can also:
- Help maintain and improve your physical strength and fitness.
- Help improve your ability to do the things you want to do.
- Help improve your balance.
- Help manage and prevent diseases like diabetes, heart disease, breast and colon cancer, and osteoporosis.
- Help reduce feelings of depression, may improve mood and overall well-being, and may improve or maintain some aspects of cognitive function such as your ability to shift quickly between tasks, plan an activity and ignore irrelevant information.
As you’ve probably noticed, the key word is YOU. You need to do the exercise to feel and look younger. No infomercial gym equipment is needed, no pills need to be swallowed. The motivation needs to come from within. The benefits you gain from exercising will depend on your starting point and how much effort you put into it. You’ll need to match your physical activity to your own needs and abilities. For example, some people swim a mile without thinking twice about it. For others, a slow walk to the corner store and back is a big achievement. Exercise and physical activity are good for just about everybody and can make anyone look and feel younger. There are many activities to choose from. Here are just a few:
- Brisk walking. Studies show that people who walk regularly live longer, weigh less, have lower blood pressure, and enjoy better overall health than non-walkers. Walkers also have reduced risk for age-related mental decline.
- Strength training. Strength training three or more times a week with varied exercises that challenge all of the major muscles is the best way to cut risk for osteoporosis, the brittle-bone disease that leads to fractures and disability in older people. “A very exciting study also found that using light weights to the point of fatigue dramatically improves muscle strength and endurance with less risk for joint problems than using heavy weights,” adds Gonzalez-Wallace.
- Tai Chi. By improving grace, balance and muscle strength, tai chi is so effective at helping older people avoid debilitating falls. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in people ages 65 and older—and one in three seniors experiences a potentially preventable tumble annually.
- Interval training. Brief bursts of high-intensity activity followed by short rests has been shown to be one of the best ways to lose belly fat and trim risk for diabetes. Studies have found that in type 2 diabetics, this type of exercise rapidly improved blood sugar control and increased muscle mitochondrial capacity.
- Endurance training. Recent studies have linked workouts that boost stamina to longer telomeres, a sign of good health and a lower biological age. Telomeres are the protective caps at the end of chromosomes, similar to the plastic tips on shoelaces. Endurance exercises, which are typically aerobic workouts done at moderate intensity, also help protect against cardiovascular disease, rev-up your metabolism and improve mental alertness. It is winter time… did you know that cross country skiing is one of the best endurance activities?
If you are not sure where to start or if you have a medical condition, you should consult with your doctor or physiotherapist first. They can guide you through exercises that you can perform safely and will know which exercises are best for what you want to achieve. At Elite Sports Injury we can perform our Functional Movement Screen that will help us determine which exercises are best for your capabilities and fitness level. Stop in today!