8 Important Reasons to Exercise in your 50’s
Exercise benefits aren’t just about chiselled abs and toned muscles but about adding years to your life and life to your years.
There are many reasons why we tend to slow down and become more sedentary with age. It may be due to our health problems, weight, or pain issues, or perhaps we think that exercising simply isn’t for us. But as we grow older, an active lifestyle becomes more important than ever for our health.
Good news is, it’s never too late to start and why wouldn’t you with the great benefits listed below.
1. Exercise boosts energy and mood
A lot of times when people are fatigued the last thing, they want to do is exercise, but studies keep on confirming that adding activity into your life brings vitality and life. The boost of oxygen through the body, plus the kick in endorphins is something you can’t buy with the next coffee or energy drink. The flow on effects of this energy boost can last throughout the day, making normal daily tasks that extra bit easier.
2. Exercise increases longevity
Exercise doesn't just make you feel younger - it may actually turn off the aging process in your chromosomes. It has to do with telomeres, the caps at the end of chromosomes that control aging. Telomeres become shorter as you get older, and longer telomeres are associated with longevity. Recent studies have found a link between regular exercise and the lengthening of the telomeres, suggesting that exercise can slow the clock so you live longer.
3. Exercise increases strength & improves posture
Muscle mass naturally decreases with age but strength training can help reverse the trend, protect your joints from injury and improve bone density. The more muscle mass that you have as you age, the more it will fight off a wiggly jiggly body. As you become stronger and bone density improves you become less susceptible to falls. Your posture naturally improves which also aids balance and stability.
4. Exercise keeps metabolism high
Several hormones are released during exercise that increase metabolism and also remain elevated in the blood afterward. Also, muscle burns more than fat. The more muscle you have the higher the calorie burn. Many call this the internal furnace effect, as you burn more calories at rest due to the increase in lean muscles therefore decreasing your bodyfat percentage even more. This reduction in bodyfat correlates with a reduced health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
5. Exercise can prevent illness and disease
People who exercise tend to have improved immune and digestive functioning, better blood pressure and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis and more. The combined benefits of exercise all work together to improve your body and reduce it from degenerating.
6. Exercise enhances your memory and thinking skills
Studies have found that regular aerobic exercise seems to increase the size of the hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with memory. As exercise works on reducing inflammation, stress and anxiety it has a further correlated effect of taking away factors that contribute to cognitive impairment.
7. Exercise reduces stress
Physical activity improves your body’s ability to use oxygen and also improves blood flow. Both of these changes have a direct effect on your brain. Exercise also helps reduce levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. The physical activity also has a psychological effect of taking your mind off your worries as your focus on the movements of your body and have a break from the mind.
8. Exercise jumpstarts your sex drive
A sweat session improves blood flow all over your body, including below the belt, and has often been confirmed as a way to increase your libido. This as well as the extra confidence you have about your physical appearance, has the effect of getting you in the mood. The cherry on top of the ice-cream for all your good work 😉