With age comes experience, maturity, perspective, and a whole slew of benefits. Unfortunately, age also brings on wrinkles, sagging, aches and pains, and in some cases an inability to undertake the activities you once loved.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to slow the aging process, or at least the effects of aging. There is no shortage of lotions, potions, and cosmetic procedures to help you stave off and even reverse the wrinkles and saggy skin that are telltale indicators of age.
What about the loss of strength and flexibility that are part and parcel of aging? What can you do about reduced mobility, waning reflexes, and the aches and pains that start to plague us all as time passes by?
Diet can be a factor, of course, but you should also know that exercise slows down the aging process in some cases. As you get older, certain exercise regimens may be too much for you. High-impact activities, for example, can be particularly stressful on aging bones and joints.
However, there are a slew of exercises that can keep you fit, healthy, and active well into middle age and your twilight years. Here are a few workouts you may want to try if maintaining your youthful vigor is important to you.
Once you realize that exercise slows down the aging process, you’ll probably want to start adding physical activity to your daily regimen. Unfortunately, you may not have the stamina or coordination to jump head first into a local baseball league or training for a marathon.
If you’ve been sedentary for a while or you already have some aches and pains, it’s best to start small and work your way up to more intense exercise. After all, you don’t want to derail your progress with an early injury.
Walking is a great way to turn your exercise goals into a daily regimen and develop healthy habits. It can be difficult to justify the cost of a gym membership and embarrassing to work out in front of others if you’re not in great shape.
Walking requires only that you get up off the couch and step out the front door. You don’t really need special clothing or gear – just an MP3 player stocked with your favorite tunes or a family member or friend to chat with along the way. From there you can explore other options.
There are few cardio exercises that offer lower impact and greater overall body conditioning than swimming. Even those who suffer from arthritis or other chronic pain conditions may experience some relief by submerging their bodies in water to exercise. Although the right exercise slows down the aging process, it may not undo damage you’ve already done to your body.
If you suffer from aches and pains, arthritis, or stiff joints, just for example, starting with swimming is a great way to loosen up, build muscle, and get fit so that you can try other exercise options down the line.
Strong muscles help to support our skeletal structure and internal organs, providing the means for proper posture and reducing the risk of injury as we age. This type of exercise slows down the aging process in important ways that you can’t afford to ignore.
If you’ve added a few pounds with age, weight loss is a good goal to ease the stresses on your body. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce risk factors for certain disorders like heart disease and diabetes. However, it is equally important to maintain or even increase muscle strength as you get older to properly support your frame. Plus, pound for pound, muscle burns more calories than fat.
As we get older and spend our time in sedentary pursuits, our muscles and ligaments tighten, reducing our flexibility and range of motion. This, in turn, can lead to discomfort, pain, and increased risk of injury.
Yoga addresses all of these issues, while also providing strength training in most cases. Even better, you’ll develop an awareness of your body that comes with a focus on breathing and moving.
In addition, this exercise slows down the aging process not only by increasing your fitness level, but also by reducing the stresses of daily life. With more and more studies suggesting links between stress and physical ailments, finding exercises that help you to cope with stress can only contribute to keeping your body healthy, functional, and fit as you age.