When you feel healthy, you generally feel younger and are better equipped to stay well as you age. Different workouts can positively impact different body systems, and as a result, influence various aspects of physical and mental health. By incorporating a range of workouts into your physical activity schedule, you can keep feeling young for as long as possible!
Maintaining fitness has long been considered a key factor in delaying the aging process. Swimming has positive effects on both physical and mental health. It combines cardio and resistance training and uses all the major muscle groups. Research shows being immersed in water increases blood flow to the brain, which does more than improving cognitive function, memory, and mood: it also promotes the growth of new neurons in the brain. In the long term, this helps reduce stress levels and decreases the risk of anxiety, two factors that advance aging.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) influences the aging process at the cellular level. As you age, the mitochondria in your cells work less efficiently. Research shows that HIIT workouts increase the production of the proteins ribosomes use to build more proteins and to power the energy-producing mitochondria. These two organelles are in all cells. By maintaining their function, your body might face the symptoms of aging more slowly, keeping you feeling younger longer.
Functional exercises mimic common movements necessary throughout the day, such as lifting, sitting down and getting up, and reaching. Regularly exercising in this way ensures you can maintain these daily functions with ease for longer, which contributes positively to mental health and quality of life. Functional fitness focuses on muscle groups vital in core stability, balance, and coordination. They also contribute to continued mobility. This type of exercise trains the muscle groups to work together — compound exercises — rather than isolating each muscle group; this can reduce the risk of injury as you age.
Bodyweight exercises include squats, lunges, deadlifts, pushups, pullups, and rows. This type of workout has been shown to reduce the likelihood of arthritis and decrease joint pain. Exercises performed with bodyweight alone also help maintain and build muscle, which is key to preventing injuries as you age. An advantage of bodyweight exercises is that they can be completed anywhere as they do not require specialized equipment. You also avoid the risk of lifting too much, though it is possible to overextend yourself without equipment, as well.
As we age, our bodies lose flexibility and balance, and coordination decreases. Maintaining these functions contributes to feeling younger. Yoga is a time-tested way to increase muscle flexibility, improve balance and coordination, strengthen your core, and improve overall stability. Working on all these factors decreases the likelihood of age-related falls. Research also shows that yoga helps retain bone density, which reduces the likelihood of fractures and other injuries.
Rowing offers a complete body workout that can be easy on the joints. It engages a range of muscles that other aerobic workouts might miss. Rowing can be a team activity, which reduces the risk of isolation and loneliness. Multiple studies have found that regular workouts of this nature reduce the risk of heart and lung disease as well as improving circulation, which all delay the aging process.
As you age, your balance can become unsteady, so balance training focuses on exercises that help keep you upright. They include core strengthening and maintaining muscle mass in your legs and stabilizing muscles. A practice focused on balance might incorporate standing on one leg or heel-toe walking. In addition to balance, exercises like this improve coordination, which reduces the likelihood of falls and contributes to overall feelings of physical security.
Tai chi emphasizes relaxing muscles rather than tensing them. This creates a low-impact workout that focuses on improving balance, flexibility, and stability. This ancient practice can also help reduce stress levels. The hormones produced when we're stressed out contribute to premature aging by negatively impacting the immune system and brain functioning. Relaxation is a key factor in reversing this process and feeling younger.
Maintaining fitness has been shown to keep DNA healthy, which keeps you feeling young. It does this by stopping telomere lengths from shortening, which occurs as you age.
Cycling has an advantage over other forms of cardiac training as it is considered low-impact, meaning it does not place an increased burden on bones and joints. It can be an effective way to maintain fitness levels when recovering from an injury or dealing with painful joints.
As a form of cardiac exercise, walking helps to maintain your body's energy efficiency and keeps your metabolism active. This helps to maintain a healthy body weight. Often, increased weight and the aging process go hand in hand.
Walking has the added benefit of getting you out of the house.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.