How Physical Fitness Can Ease the Process of Aging

Many people feel anxiety at the prospect of aging. However, the effects of this process are not completely out of your control. By taking some steps to increase or maintain your physical fitness, you can minimize or slow some of the effects of aging. By following the tips in this article, you can continue to feel as good as possible as the years go by.

The human metabolism slows down with age. Thus, if your eating and exercise habits remain exactly the same throughout your lifetime, your levels of body fat will gradually increase from your young adulthood through middle age and beyond. If you exercise regularly and practice moderation in your diet, you can avoid this effect of aging.

Regular exercise can help your mind along with your body. Exercise can improve your mood; in fact, some people find it can help them avoid mild depression. Exercise has also been shown to prevent or lessen the effects of dementia. If you are feeling bored or socially isolated, you might find that group exercise classes or working out with a friend can help to lift your spirits while improving your health.

As you age, you lose muscle mass, which contributes to the slowing down of the metabolism described above. Exercise, specifically strength training, is necessary to maintain as much muscle mass as possible. Don’t be too intimidated if you haven’t done strength training before. Design a simple routine to get started, with the help of a personal trainer or a more experienced friend if possible. People of any age, as long as they have no prohibitive medical conditions, can maintain or even gain muscle with a proper diet and exercise program.

In addition to helping your physical and mental health, exercise can improve your mental functioning. Regular workouts can make you feel more alert. It can also improve the quality of your sleep. If you frequently feel drowsy or sluggish during the day, a morning workout can help to wake you up while conferring far more health benefits than an extra cup of coffee.

Exercise is of course good for your physical fitness and cardiovascular health, but it also has some more general positive effects on health. A strong, healthy body can help your immune system, making it easier to avoid getting sick and allowing faster recovery from disease.

Proper exercise can also help you to maintain healthy joints. People are also at higher risk for injuries and joint problems as they age, so if this is a concern, be especially careful that your exercise plan is appropriate. Consult with a doctor about any joint concerns, and get help from a trainer if possible to learn proper form and to choose the exercises that will be best for you. Start off gradually and pay attention to any pain that occurs.

As this article has shown, the positive effects of exercise are numerous and varied. If you want to age gracefully and maintain maximum physical fitness and health, regular exercise is one of the surest ways to achieve these goals.