There are numerous health benefits for exercisers of all ages. Today I want to highlight just a few that might be of particular interest to the active aging participant.
Exercise is known to prevent cognitive decline and maintain brain health as people age. A recent study has shed light on one reason why. The study showed that people who engaged in long-term, regular exercise had substantially more small blood vessels in their brains and more blood flow than people who performed little exercise over the years. One researcher remarked, "We know exercise increases the number of blood vessels in other parts of the body. What we now know is that it also affects the brain."
Exercise has also been shown to reduce chronic pain. Often sufferers are terrified that if they move, they will damage themselves, but nothing could be further from the truth. James Rainville, spine and rehabilitation specialist, states "There is no scientific evidence that activity and exercise are harmful". Exercise can also help prevent chronic pain. Another study showed that in women 65 and older the prevalance of chronic pain was 21% to 38% lower among exercisers.
Exercise can make daily life functions easier. We all lose muscle mass as we age which causes loss of strength. It might not be noticeable at 60, but by 70 will start to affect the ability to easily complete daily functional movements. Regular strength training and resistance exercises can make climbing the stairs, getting in & out of the car, and bending to empty the dishwasher smooth and easy movements.
The benefits of exercise extend to participants of all ages. The benefits are immediate, cumulative and long lasting. Make sure to move your body today!