Aging is a natural and inevitable process that all living things have to go through. Though we cannot stop aging, the good news is it is possible to slow it down. There are many claims out in the market that say you can keep your youth forever, but the harsh truth is you can’t stop aging.
But one natural way has proven effective in slowing down the dreaded aging process, and this is by exercising regularly, preferably on a daily basis. Science has proven regular exercise reaps many benefits, some of which are a boosted immune system, improved cognitive abilities, improved sleep, maintaining muscle tone and strong bones; all of which contribute to the slowing down of the aging process which in turn leads to a longer and healthy lifespan.
So, how exactly does exercise slow down the aging process?
As mentioned above, regular exercise boosts the immune system, which makes it stronger to ward off or lessen the effects of ailments like the common cold, fever and flu, cough, etc. Frequent exercise improves blood circulation, as it makes the heart works harder. This causes the antibodies and/or white blood cells in the body to circulate quickly and to detect illnesses and react to them faster.
When you exercise regularly, your body releases proteins and other chemicals that contribute to the cognitive functions of your brain i.e. attention span, memory, language, visual and spatial abilities. You will be able to understand and remember things better, speak clearer, improved eyesight, and better reasoning abilities.
Medical practitioners have stressed many times that a good night’s sleep is a determining factor of a long and healthy life. With exercise, you will be able to get better quality of sleep for longer periods of time as exercise naturally tires you out. You will find yourself being able to fall asleep faster and wake up feeling refreshed the next morning. However, take note that exercise should be completed at least 2 to 3 hours before you turn in for the day. Take caution that exercising close to bed time, may result in your body not being able to to wind down, and you may find yourself in a restless state tossing and turning in your bed. Over-exercising also has a similar effect, as your body will be over-tired to prepare its self to go into sleep mood, and possibly leaving you wide awake throughout the night.
As you get older, your bones start to lose mass and density. It is a proven scientific fact that exercise strengthens your bones and muscles. Strong bones and muscles contribute to better movement and stability, reducing your chances of accidentally falling.
In addition to the above benefits, your mental health and mood is improved. Frequent exercise releases chemicals like endorphins that trigger a “feel good” feeling. This helps cope with daily stress and depression which are the major reasons for suicide.
The younger population can participate in trending exercises which are mostly cardio-based, like HIIT (high intensity interval training), crossfit and hybrid spin classes. HIIT is programmed with focus on building up muscle.
For the senior population, low impact exercises are suitable to ensure their joints and ligaments remain flexible, reducing risk from age-related injuries. Suitable exercises for seniors could be yoga, pilates, tai chi, brisk walking and weight training (to maintain muscle and bone mass).
Exercises suitable for all age groups would include swimming, yoga, walking in the park and strength training. Interval training has been found in lowering the onset of diabetes.
Lastly, meditation is excellent for destressing the mind, body and soul, which will also slow down aging.
15th April 2020 23:55
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