Exercise and Aging: The Link Between Bold Health Goals and Living Longer

Woman working out, looking young

Spend any time around older adults and it’s easy to see the difference between those who’ve devoted some of their time on this planet to health and exercise and those who have not. Clearly, exercise helps beat back the effects of time. But how?

Thankfully, there’s new research that answers that question. And it paints a pretty vivid picture about the necessity for bold health goals, and how pursuing those goals can help you later in life.

Here are some of the ways being physically active can delay the aging process:

  • More physical activity means enhanced self-healing capabilities for our body. The link between exercise and aging is evident in our body’s ability to repair and mend itself. Cells divide in order to repair damaged tissues. With physical activity, the cell’s telomeres are lengthened. With longer telomeres, the cell’s ability to split and repair organs and tissues is likewise extended.
  • Inflammation is more prevalent in old age. However, with regular physical activity, the body has the power to taper the duration and minimize the occurrence of inflammation. Inflammation is a natural immune system function that helps in containing viruses and infection. However, when it becomes constant and prolonged, it could lead to a host of illnesses. Inflammation is the cause for most age-related diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
  • Physical activity helps reduce muscle loss. With more muscle mass, the body’s strength and vigor are preserved. Muscles that are rarely used shrink fast. And with the loss of muscle mass, our body gets weaker, too. This makes carrying out of daily activities such as climbing stairs, lifting objects, and walking difficult. With regular exercise and aging as just a mere number, you can boost your body’s vigor and energy.
  • Mental sharpness and acuity demonstrate the link between exercise and aging, too. Physical activity promotes the regeneration of neurons in the brain. With more connections in the brain, impulses are sent and received more efficiently. Thus, learning, focus and memory retention gets enhanced, too. Moreover, research confirms that exercise helps avert the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • With exercise, our brain gets a boost of mood-enhancing hormones. Physical activity triggers the release of endorphins – a hormone that makes us happy and exhilarated. There’s serotonin too which helps clear the head and boosts energy. With endorphins and serotonin, and a few other hormones, exercise and physical activity can give us a good kind of high.

Healthy and Youthful: Harness the Power of Exercise

With the progress in the field of health and medicine, people’s lifespan has been extended in years. However, there’s a downside to it. As diseases and afflictions still prevail, the number of years spent battling age-related diseases becomes longer, too. Thus, from extending the lifespan, science is now moving its focus toward extending people’s healthspan.

With efforts to achieve optimal health even in advanced age, it has been proven that exercise has anti-aging benefits. By harnessing the link between exercise and aging, there’s a way to extend people’s vigorous and disease-free years. Though we cannot stay young forever, at best, we can stretch our youthful years longer. Health and youth rest on the choices that you make.  So go ahead, pursue a wholesome lifestyle by staying physically active.

About the Author

Frances Beldia has worked in various capacities in the publishing industry for more than 20 years now. Of the many exciting things she experienced in the course of her career, it is being a part of the shift from traditional printing to multimedia that she finds the most fulfilling. A homeschooling advocate, Frances has a master's degree in communication management.
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