Aging is a fact of life. With age we tend to slow down and become less physically active. This reduction in movement impacts all elements of fitness and can often lead to an increased risk of developing many chronic health conditions. However you do have some control over the impact ageing has on your life.
So what is happening to your body as you age?
Muscle mass: As we age, muscle mass decreases. Between the third and eighth decades of life, we lose up to 15% of our lean muscle mass, which contributes to a lower metabolic rate, as we get older. This change in metabolic rate combined with being less physically active often leads to weight gain as individuals fail to adjust their diet accordingly.
Cardiovascular health and endurance: Both cardiovascular health and endurance will decrease with age, however with simple activity you can improve your cardiovascular fitness and health.
Bone mass and density: As we age bone density begins to reduce, this makes individuals more likely to develop joint conditions such as osteoarthritis or osteoporosis. These conditions also make the individual more likely to experience fractures.
Flexibility: also decreases as we age. But like strength and endurance, flexibility can be improved. Increased flexibility allows for more freedom of movement and greater range of motion.
Balance: As we age, balance decreases and falls can lead to fractures. It is estimated more than one third of people over the age of 65 fall each year, often resulting in injuries which are a major cause of surgeries and disability among the elderly.
What is aging successfully?
Successfully aging is more than simply still being alive past the age or 65 or so, it is being able to live independently with minimal to no serious chronic illness, mental impairment, or physical ailments.
How can exercise help YOU to age successfully?
The benefits of regular exercise are well documented and include: improved health, increased strength and cardiovascular fitness, improved balance and mobility, reduced disease risk, reduced pain. All this leads to a greater quality of life.
Cardiovascular exercise: Maintaining cardiovascular fitness and health as you age will reduce your risk of developing cardiac disease. Cardiovascular exercise can be very simple and inexpensive.
Resistance training: Will improve lean muscle mass and your muscles will respond positively to resistance training at any age.Resistance training will also help build and maintain body density.
Flexibility and mobility exercise: Regular stretching both dynamic and static, along with fascia release techniques are important to maintain good flexibility at any stage of life but is critical as we age as it will help to reduce muscle and fascia tightness which can have a dramatic impacted on an individual’s mobility. Reduced muscle tightness can also reduce muscle pain and postural imbalances when coupled with strengthening exercises.
Even if exercise has not been a part of or daily or weekly routine before, remember it is never too late to start exercising! At Optimum Health Solutions it is our mission to enable people to live life to the fullest! So if you feel you are missing out on truly experiencing life, or want to ensure you age successfully, speak with one of our Exercise Physiologists today for an individual, tailored exercise program appropriate for your current health.