A hand of an ageing adult

Some people may find a great shock when they begin to notice wrinkles and a gain of weight, they are ageing! It is said that exercise can help reduce or even reverse some of these signs of ageing which begs the question, does exercise prevent signs of ageing?

How Does Exercise Slow Down Ageing

There is a study done in 2018 by the University of Birmingham which involved a group of older people who have exercised their whole lives and a group of similarly aged adults and younger adults who do not exercise regularly. The results showed that those who exercised regularly have the immunity, muscle mass, and cholesterol levels of a young person.

Researchers have found that doing intensive exercise prevents of shorting of telomeres in your DNA. They are caps (much like a shoelace cap) which are on the ends of your DNA, and in short as you get older, these get smaller and smaller which reduces the number times they can divide, and once they are critically short they die instead.

The other benefits of exercise

Aside from the obvious weight loss benefits that exercise provides, what else does it do that benefits you? Exercise has a great load of benefits some of which I will explain here starting with the physical health benefits.

Reduce the impact of illness and chronic disease

As exercise can improve your immune and digestive functionalities it reduces your chances of illnesses overall. It also greatly improves your blood pressure and done density, all totalling to a lower risk of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and even certain cancers.

Enhanced mobility, flexibility and balance

Through exercise you’re improving your body, posture, strength and flexibility which in term helps with your balance, co-ordination, thereby reducing your risk of falls.

Some may not realise that exercise also comes with important mental health benefits as well some of which I will talk about here.

Improved sleep

Regular exercise can help you to fall asleep more quickly and deeply, which overall makes you wake up more refreshed and energetic.

Boost of self-confidence and mood

Exercise relieves a lot of stress and produces endorphins which can help reduce the feelings of sadness, depression and anxiety. Being active and strong also naturally helps you feel more self-confident.

General increased brainpower

Your brain in general will be better with brain functions, such as multitasking and creativity. In the long run it also helps prevent memory loss, cognitive decline and even dementia.

How to build a balanced exercise plan

A great exercise plan is one that can be split into the important exercise types which are, aerobic, strengthening and stretching. Having all of these within your workout will improve your overall fitness level.

Strength exercises

These exercises help build muscle, increase muscle tone and of course strength.

Concentrating on exercises that strengthen the abdominal and back muscles will help stabilise the spine, allowing for better movement and makes it easier to maintain correct posture.

An example of some good exercises include the chest bench press, pull ups and rows which all work the back and arms together.

Aerobic exercises

These exercises increase your endurance as they stimulate your cardiovascular system. They strengthen the heart and lungs, improving the bodies ability to use oxygen.

Many aerobic exercises don’t need any equipment to do and chances are you do them anyway!

Good examples of aerobic exercises would be cycling, running, jumping, burpees, dancing and swimming. Doing these at medium to high intensity will be great for cardiovascular conditioning.

Stretching exercises

These exercises focus on the ability of you to move your limbs through their full range of motions.

Having stretched muscles prevents abnormal forces on the joints, and therefore decreasing the risk of injury. Stretching is best to do before and after any exercise to help prevent muscle strain and soreness.

A great example of a stretch is standing with your legs straight and bending at the hip to touch your toes. Practising this for a few seconds each day will allow you to increase your range of motion.

But what if you don’t like exercise?

If you’re not such a fan of getting sweaty at the gym, there are a few ways that you can still improve your body.

Going for walks is a great and easy way to get bodily exercise. Whether you’re going to work or to the shops you will be using your leg muscles which helps strengthen them slightly.

Try a shorter version of a workout if you do not wish to fully commit in the beginning. You may not wish to commit an hour a day to exercise but even 10-15 minutes a day will be beneficial to your health.

Conclusion

Exercise is great for everybody and does have its ways to reduce the signs of ageing in a consistent exerciser.

You don’t even have to be an avid exerciser to reap the benefits; you can commit only 10 minutes a day and still see the positive sides.

Start by integrating a few easy exercises in to a work out of your own, then over time ramp things up to keep it interesting and challenging to some degree.

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