Benefits of Exercise as we Age
Exercising regularly can provide you with a ton of benefits but those benefits become more crucial as we inevitability age. Our chances of having issues with bone density, muscle strength, heart and brain health, body fat, and hormones increase as we age. Exercise can be a tool to combat those issues to the point of eliminating them completely. Below, we will discuss how exercise can benefit bone density, strength, heart and brain health, body fat, and hormones.
First up is bone density. As we age, our bone density and the rate at which we make bone decreases. This issue can be worsened especially if our physical activity begins to decline. This can become a severe problem, especially for women after menopause, leading to an increased risk of bone fractures and possibly osteoporosis. Exercise is a way to combat this decrease in bone density and increase the rate we make bone. The more physical activity (exercise) we do, increases the amount of force and tension put on our bones. When this occurs, the body reacts by releasing signals for bone cells to make more bone in order to handle the stress of the forces. This means that exercising can reverse the effects that aging does on our bone density.
Muscle acts the same way as bone does. As we age, muscular strength decreases at a higher rate. This has profound effects on our health. Loss of strength can lead to joint pain, loss of mobility and decrease in our quality of life. Implementing resistance (strength) training 2 times a week can help slow this process down while also building new muscle, increasing strength, mobility and quality of life.
As we age our heart and brain health is significantly affected by our everyday habits. Poor lifestyles and health habits can cause our heart and brain health to decrease substantially. Regular exercise is a good habit that can increase heart and brain health. Exercise decreases our risk of cardiovascular disease, specifically exercise that increase your heart rate. This helps strengthen the heart since it is a muscle. Resistance (strength) training has also been shown to decrease daily blood pressure over time. Lowering blood pressure to normal levels in great for both heart and brain health. Exercising is also great for brain health. In studies, exercise has been shown to increase memory and thinking skills and decrease our risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Obesity has become an epidemic in America over the years. It is linked to all sorts of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease. Exercise can be effective against obesity, along with a good diet. Exercise can decrease body fat over time while also increasing quality of life, self-confidence and general health.
Lastly exercise has a great benefit on hormones in the body. As we age our hormones can become out of sync from internal and external factors. Exercise can help by increasing and decreasing hormone levels in our body while also increasing our sensitivity to those hormones. Regular exercise can increase thyroid hormones, testosterone in men, progesterone in women, and increase insulin sensitivity. Decreased insulin sensitivity is a major factor in type II diabetes. Increasing the sensitivity of your body to insulin is good for everyone. Insulin is the hormone that allows glucose to transport into the cells in your body, decreasing blood sugar levels.
These are just some of the benefits that exercise does on the body. So, all the sweat and hard work you put in here at KSP is not just to look good but to help with every aspect of your health.