Can doing exercise regularly make you younger? The answer from all the health experts seems to be a resounding yes. We will look at why this is true, but for the moment, reflect on the advantages of staving off old age. Just think, you could have a firmer, fitter body, healthy glowing skin, stronger bones, and a lower risk of depression. But more than half of all adults in the USA are not getting enough exercise, according to a CDC report.
Some experts are now saying that those who exercise with regularity could live for 10 years longer than couch potatoes. So, a longer life is a great bonus, but even better is the fact that you are less likely to get diabetes, cancer, or have a heart attack. Talk about a fountain of youth!
Exercise helps your circulation
What happens when you go jogging or do your aerobic workout at the gym? The blood vessels in your muscles respond to the increased pressure by getting larger and they can take on more oxygenated blood. The process helps to divert the blood supply to less essential organs such as the stomach and kidneys. The working muscles are now getting the maximum benefit. The heart muscle which is doing most of the donkey work will become more efficient and help to optimize blood circulation.
The benefits of an improved circulation system will help to keep blood pressure levels normal, tone the muscles and also the lungs. Any type of exercise such as walking, cycling, dancing, yoga or swimming will do the trick.
How exercise promotes cell growth
As we age, our cell renewal process inevitably slows down. Telomeres (from the Greek telos ‘end’ and meros ‘part’) are an essential part of the repetitive DNA which protects the end of the chromosomes from deterioration. Someone has said it is rather like having a plastic end to the shoelace which prevents it from unravelling. The longer the telomeres, the more efficient is cell creation.
Researchers found that couch potatoes had shorter telomeres than those who regularly exercised. The study involved over 2,000 sets of twins and confirmed that those who exercised were likely to remain more youthful and live longer.
Exercise keeps the brain in great condition
An essential aspect of staying young is to have a healthy, active brain. Once you start exercising, the brain begins to feel the benefit of the increased blood flow which helps to keep the cells healthy. Most people after exercise feel more focused and children have done better on tests.
One test, conducted by the University of Minnesota followed 2,700 men and women for over 25 years. Those who had done sport in their teens were scoring better on mental tests when they reached their fifties.
Helping your brain cell production is a great way to ward off Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Exercise gives you glowing skin
Most people associate glowing, radiant skin with facelifts and miraculous creams. They do not realize that when you exercise, the revved up circulation is getting essential oxygen and other nutrients to the skin. The muscles are toned so that the skin is less likely to sag. In addition, your own collagen which keeps the skin compact and firm is also regenerated. Some studies have shown that it may also help to reduce acne.
Do not forget to use an effective sunblock if you like to exercise in the sun. Experts agree that in order to get your essential daily dose of Vitamin D, you just need to stay in sunlight for fifteen minutes. Do not worry about the sunblock interfering with this process. Dermatologists at the King’s College, London, Institute of Dermatology have reassured us on this.
Exercise helps your bone density
“It takes skill to fall on flat surfaces” – Anon
Who wants old bones which are brittle and break when you fall? Preserving strong bones is the best way to avoid fractures. The best type of exercise to help bones stay strong are those that involve some weight resistance, such as:
* Weight lifting
* Walking up the stairs
Exercise helps to prevent depression
When you do any exercise, the good mood endorphins such as serotonin and dopamine are released. They help to put you in a good mood. It is no accident that you always feel more cheerful and upbeat after doing exercise.
Exercise can make you feel better and lessen depression symptoms. Scientists are not exactly sure why this is the case but there are countless examples of its efficacy.
Now, you know why everybody is talking about exercise. It really can help you stay younger and enjoy a longer life. You have no excuse now!
Featured photo credit: Younger/Daniel Oines via flickr.com