Aging is an inevitable part of being human. As we grow older, our bodies begin to change, though this may happen at varying rates due to genetics and lifestyle habits, among other factors. While it is merely a natural fact of life, there are some things you can do to slow the physical and mental signs of aging. Larry Greenfield, New York certified fitness coach, believes that exercise holds the key to maintaining your body as you begin to age. Let’s explore five science-backed ways exercise slows aging!
- Muscular Strength
There is an image of aging as growing frail and weaker. This does not have to be the case! Humans are strong by nature and can retain that strength as they grow older. Exercising regularly has been linked to supporting the retention of the effectiveness of the musculoskeletal system. In fact, one study shows that exercising regularly works to reverse the signs of aging within the skeletal muscle while reducing the rate of age-related atrophy.
Even young people sometimes experience stiff joints, which typically gets more severe as we grow older. Joint pain and disorders like arthritis can severely impede your comfort of movement and the ability to move freely. Exercising can help keep your joints mobile and decrease the impact of aging on joint flexibility.
- Increased Independence
As an obvious benefit, remaining mobile and exercising to increase your strength and joint flexibility can increase your independence. While exercise alone is not the only factor that controls how someone ages, data links the ongoing activity to increased independence in older adults. This makes sense, as if you can move comfortably and effectively, you can likely better accommodate your own needs and retain an independent lifestyle for longer.
- Memory Support
Alzheimer’s and dementia are two disorders that, unfortunately, we still have much to learn about. There is a lot of information that we simply do not yet have access to and a lot of questions that have yet to be answered. That being said, there does appear to be a link between exercise, specifically treadmill-based cardio, and improved cognitive function. In a study done on older rodent subjects, treadmill exercise increased the brain’s neurogenesis, which caused the rats to experience less memory-related problems. While further testing is needed to prove a conclusive association with human subjects, rodent testing does show hope for successful future human subjects usage.
- Social Activity
One common issue that plagues aging individuals is not a health-related one but an interpersonal one. Senior people often feel lonely. As we grow older, death becomes more common in our lives, and we often do not have the level of companionship experienced within our youth. Exercise classes and even working with a professional fitness coach can assist in offering the interpersonal contact so craved by aging individuals, offering an opportunity for improved mental health.
While there is no way to slow the hands of time, exercise does offer the ability to increase aging individuals’ independence and quality of life. Professionals like Larry Greenfield are here to help along the way.
About Larry Greenfield
Larry Greenfield is a certified fitness coach from New York, NY, who specializes in helping men and women over 40 get into the best shape of their life. Through years of experience, he’s discovered that personalizing his approach to fit each client’s needs and aiming for long-term results is the best path to improve his clients’ lifestyle. When he is not working, Larry enjoys fitness, art, traveling, and outdoor activities with his family.