Why Exercising is the Best Anti-Aging Tool You Will Ever Use

June 8, 2017

Call off the search parties, the fountain of youth has been found! It’s at your local gym, on the bike path, and in the swimming pool. All hyperbole aside, exercise is the most powerful anti-aging tool you will ever use. That’s just one of the reasons why seniors should strive to make exercise a vital part of their every-day routine.  However, like a lot of the aspects of a healthy lifestyle, staying active as a senior is often easier said than done. In this post we will look at some of the tips, tricks, and techniques to help you make sure you can take a drink from this fountain of youth.

Regular exercise will have positive effects on just about every aspect of your health.Despite the stress regular exercise puts on your body, no matter how light or rigorous your routine is, you will get stronger.After all, the core principle of exercise is stressing our body so that it repairs and fortifies. So for seniors, especially those who have been relatively inactive, the first step is to start slowly. For aerobic exercise, start by walking for just 10 minutes a day. This is a great way to begin an exercise regimen, and it will prepare the body for more intensive activity. Once you have built up a threshold that allows you to walk for at least 30 minutes, you can give a number of other aerobic exercises a try. For seniors, it is best to avoid high impact activities such as running, for those exercises can be hard on the bones and joints. The good news is, fun activities like cycling, swimming, or even dancing, are great low impact ways to get moving.

While aerobics are great for the heart and lungs, by no means are seniors limited from other forms of exercise like strength training. In fact, resistance based training is extremely important to protect muscle and bone health and is recommended for seniors by the CDC. One tip for seniors looking to start weight lifting, is to focus on seated variations of popular exercises. This takes the stress off stabilizing muscles and allows you to focus on one muscle group at a time. Make sure to start out with one or two pound dumbbells, in order to evaluate your current fitness level. 

Perhaps the most important thing for active seniors to remember is simple, you don’t have to be limited by age. Fitness is achievable at any stage in life, just ask Ernestine Shepard, an 80(!)-year-old bodybuilder whose abs put most 20-year-olds to shame. Check her out in the YouTube video below:

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