Exercise has many benefits, and those benefits are well-documented. Of all the benefits, some of the most exciting are the anti-aging effects.
In fact, the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University in Muncie, IN did a study in which they determined that participants over 70 years old that had been exercisers for many years had not fallen victim to the effects of aging like their non-exercising peers.
“‘Exercise wins’ is the take-home message. We saw that people who exercise regularly year after year have better overall health. These 75-year-olds — men and women — have similar cardiovascular health to a 40–45-year-old.”
— Scott Trappe, Lead researcher, and director of the Human Performance Laboratory
Read more about this research and its findings here.
Author Jeff Bercovici has argued that while conventional wisdom tells us that as we grow older, our fitness level decreases, the truth is that as our fitness level decreases, we grow older. The implication is that by maintaining or improving our fitness levels, we can slow the effects of aging.
There are some really simple reasons that exercise is a literal fountain of youth. Here are just a few:
- It reduces stress, and stress is a major contributor to the physical signs of aging – from frown and worry lines to your posture, exercise can keep the effects of stress at bay, keeping your skin, posture and attitude all youthful!
- It keeps you moving like a younger person. As we age, we naturally lose some strength and flexibility, but exercise can help us not only maintain but increase, both strength and flexibility allowing our bodies to do things others our age can’t – and keeping us independent longer, too!
- It improves the longevity of your cells, LITERALLY slowing the process of your body’s physical aging process. According to a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, exercise renews the mitochondria within the cells of your muscles.
- It helps you sleep better at night, allowing the body the proper time and energy required to repair, especially your skin. While sleeping, the blood flow to your skin increases, producing natural collagen and repairing UV damage making your skin look and feel younger.
- It keeps your metabolism running effectively. One of the most frustrating effects of aging for most people is the metabolic slowdown that occurs and the accompanying weight gain. Exercise increases metabolism, allowing us to enjoy more of our favorite foods without worry (see reduced stress).
There are, of course, many other ways in which exercise can function as a fountain of youth, these are just a few. Whatever benefits you find most compelling, the science is just too plain to ignore: the best way to stall (and sometimes stop) the negative effects of aging, is by living a healthy lifestyle that prioritizes fitness and exercise.
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