Do These 2 Types of Exercise to Stave off the Effects of Aging
Science may not have uncovered the secret to the eternal fountain of youth (yet!), but it has found proven ways to slow the natural aging process down to a crawl.
One of those ways is through exercise. There is limitless research out there to support the notion that regular exercise is invaluable for seniors wishing to remain active and independent well into their 70s, 80s and 90s. And we’re not only talking about your body here, we’re talking about your brain as well.
A small but growing body of research shows evidence of a link between regular exercise — specifically cardio — and a lower risk of dementia and a protection against age-related decline because of reduced brain connectivity (e.g., memory loss).
Of course, just the word exercise conjures up images of tortorous, uncomfortable punishment on the body for some people. The good news is you don’t have to be Jack LaLanne or Jane Fonda to prevent old age from sidelining you in your golden years. According to a recent comprehensive Business Insider article, you simply have to understand the type of activity your body needs, find a few activities you can handle and do them on a fairly regular basis.
The Big 2
- Aerobic or cardio: This can include any type of exercise that gets your heart pumping a little faster and cause you to work up a healthy lather. This type of exercise is so important as we age because it helps with the performance of our heart. As we age, it’s normal for certain muscles in our heart to stiffen a bit. This can impact our heart’s ability to supply our body with freshly oxygenated blood. But depending on the intensity, regular cardio can do everything from prevent or even reverse muscle stiffing in the heart to reduce the risk of heart failure.
- Strength or resistance training: Far too often, people only associate strength training with lifting big heavy weights, something none of us want to do as we get up there in age. But strength/resistance training is anything that involves a series of movements geared toward building or preserving muscle. This can run the gamut from yoga to Tai Chi to the simple strength-building exercises you would do at physical or occupational therapy.
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