Why is Aerobic Exercise Important As We Age
At some point, we’ve all heard the phrase, “use it or lose it.” Even a young person who doesn’t participate in a lot of physical activity will find that their stamina, strength and endurance are decreased when they decide to use them-especially after a long period of inactivity.
However, as we age, our bodies seem to work against us even more and it’s important to keep up with the strength building exercises. When we put aside our minimal aches and pains for a half hour to an hour of exercise, the benefits to our bodies are much more than the inconvenience of enjoying our lazy time.
First of all, the pounds that seem to pile on with age can be kept off with regular exercise. As long as you’re watching what you eat and trying to eat good foods, there is no reason why you should put on a lot of unwanted weight. Regular physical activity keeps your metabolism going and keeps your muscles burning, which all burns calories. This will keep those last five or ten pounds that never seem to go away from ever getting there in the first place.
Your natural stamina seems to reduce over time, but with continual exercise, this will increase instead. You’ll find that you can enjoy your favorite activities for a longer period of time without wearing yourself out, and this includes everything from tennis to a night out with dinner and dancing. Feeling energized can go a long way in terms of feeling confident both physically and mentally.
Your body fights off sickness when it’s healthier from the inside out. Exercising causes endorphin rushes and these automatically boost your immune system. The more you exercise, the more prepared your body will be to fight off various diseases and sicknesses as they make the rounds every year. A half hour power walk can not only invigorate you for the rest of the day, but also give your insides the strength to avoid passing sicknesses from family members or friends.
Of course, older people seem to be more prone to other conditions as well, such as high blood pressure, osteoporosis and much more. Weight-bearing or strength exercises can help you fight these off and let you keep up with your regular routine as well. Your body only produces strong bones when it needs to, so if you’re not doing weight-bearing exercises, then your body thinks you don’t “need” strong bones. Older people don’t lift weights normally, so their bones become more brittle and then they get osteoporosis and other diseases. However, exercise could significantly reduce these risks and keep you stronger and healthier over the years.
Heart problems seem to show up in a certain age range as well, although they are certainly not limited to seniors. Exercise increases the blood flow to every part of your body and strengthens your heart at the same time. When you engage in cardio activity, your heart is able to work efficiently and spread more oxygen to your cells too. That means you’re going to think clearly, you’re going to breathe more easily and your heart won’t be put under undue stress when you try to do everyday activities at your home or job.
Cholesterol is another issue for older people and this causes buildup in the arteries, which can lead to significant problems, including heart surgery. When you exercise, the bad cholesterol in your body is lowered. At the same time, your body starts producing more good cholesterol. Would you like to get off that cholesterol prescription at some point? Ask your doctor or personal trainer which exercises would help you strengthen the blood flow and help your body protect itself from bad cholesterol. Less buildup in your arteries=stronger blood flow=healthier and happier you!
Speaking of a happier you, did you know that the “grumpies” can be taken away after a round of exercising? Endorphins rush in after a workout to help your muscles recover but they do a fabulous job of improving your mood too! Having a bad day? Take a half hour power walk or go do some weight-bearing exercises. I guarantee when you’re done, the problem that you were facing will feel a little more manageable and you’ll feel more positive about it.
Long life is an ever present goal for many of us, and the statistics show that the individuals who live the longest, regularly participate in some kind of aerobic activity. Choose your favorite: swimming, aqua Zumba, dance aerobics, anything you enjoy that gets your heart rate up and your muscles burning. When it’s over, you’ll have a smile on your face and your body will be happy as well because it feels more prepared to face the day.
Exercise at any age is really important, but for older folks, it’s even more so. Don’t let your muscles lag because they’re not used properly. Don’t fall for the myth that seniors shouldn’t lift weights—if anybody should, it’s them. There is plenty of reasons to stay strong, stay happy and continue on with your exercise routine, even if you have to modify it from time to time. The happiest people do and they live a long life to prove it!