Moderate exercise makes a significant contribution to both wellness and anti-aging. Nothing comes closer to achieving anti-aging effects on your body than exercise. Exercise is critical to both overall wellness and contributes to longevity. It maintains a healthy cardiovascular and pulmonary functioning, activates the metabolism, keeps joints lubricated, retains muscle strength and keeps tendons supple.
Anti-Aging Exercise Programs
One of the most important aspects of exercise, especially in later years, is to ensure that the exercise is “appropriate”. Over-exertion can lead to serious damage to muscles, tendons and joints, and also risk cardiac stress. Anti- aging exercises consist of three separate components:
Flexibility Training – Increases blood flow to muscles, warms up key muscles in the body allowing your body to be more pliable and less prone to injury, mandatory 5-10 min. stretch before and after exercise.
Cardiovascular Training – Aerobic exercise is one of the greatest anti-aging bullets available, 15 min. per day, heart rate should be adjusted so that your heart rate is no more than 60% to 80% of your maximum.
Strength Training – your body mass decreases by 6% to 10% with each decade after 30, strength training signals the pituitary gland to release growth hormone.
Wellness Benefits of Exercise
Many studies have attempted to show how exactly exercise affects one’s health, through its ability to:
- Relieves stress
- Lowers blood pressure
- Increases level of endorphins
- Increases fat burning enzymes in the muscle, aiding in maintaining or reducing weight
- Strengthens heart muscles and improves circulation; reducing the risk of heart disease
- Reduces the level of glucose and cholesterol in blood and calcium in bones
(the cause of Osteoporosis)
- Improves your respiratory system by strengthening your lungs to help control asthma
- Creates the feeling of self -confidence and control over one’s body and life.
Anti-Aging & Exercise
Maintaining mobility is a critical element for the quality of life. Skeletal muscle age-associated deterioration includes reductions in size, structure and function. Recent research suggests that oxidative stress contributes to sarcopenia (age related muscle loss).
The level of oxidative stress imposed on aging muscle is influenced by two biological processes:
- Increased generation of reactive oxygen species [ROS]
- Age-associated changes in antioxidant defence.
Overall, aging muscle has a decreased gene expression of antioxidant enzymes possibly due to a diminished ability for cell signaling. By using exercise to induce mild oxidative stress we can stimulate the production of these antioxidant enzymes.
Results of Studies on Exercise & Anti-Aging
Studies have shown that regular physical exercise has more longevity impact on men than women in the 40-50 age group.
It seems that it is more about activity than fitness – the least fit but physically active men having a lower IHD mortality rate (6%) than the least fit but sedentary men (10%)
In the over 60 age group however, the impacts are more apparent. Moderate exercise training has demonstrated beneficial outcomes in both the prevention and rehabilitation of many diseases of the elderly.
Where moderate levels of exercise improves, strenuous exercise or overtraining suppresses various immune function measures.
Since exercise does increase oxidative damage, it is important that muscle training be supplemented with powerful antioxidants.