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The Benefits of Exercising After 50

When you reach an older age a lot of things change and one of them are how your body recover after some physical activities, that is why in this article I am going to explain the benefits of exercising after 50.

You probably know you should exercise, but you may not know exactly why. What’s in it for you? Many people exercise because it helps them lose weight or maintain their weight. And fighting obesity is definitely a good reason to get active.

The Benefits of Exercising After 50

However, there are a number of other benefits that can have a powerful impact on your life at any age. These benefits can help you live longer and live better, and they’re all yours for the taking.

Better Sleep

Studies have shown that exercise improves the quality, and often the duration, of sleep. A study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that people sleep better if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. That’s an average of 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

As people age their quality of sleep can decrease. Poor sleep impacts your mental health and a general sense of well-being. When you don’t sleep well at night, you are sick more often, and you certainly don’t feel energetic or vital. Exercise helps improve your sleep. For those with insomnia, it can take a few months for the full effects to kick in.

Doctors have found that longer duration exercises seem to have a better impact on sleep quality than shorter workouts. However, any exercise is better than none for improving sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation study, they found that the average increase in sleep each night was 1.25 hours. And this dramatic improvement in sleep is without any sleep aids or pharmaceuticals.

If you struggle with sleep or want to improve your quality of sleep, exercise has been shown to have a dramatic impact.

Improved Sex Life

improves sex life

Sex stops after 50, right? Heck no! And exercise has been shown to help improve your sex life. At a fundamental level, when you sleep better you’re going to have more energy for your love life. Exercise also boosts a general sense of well-being and energy. Exercise has been shown to be effective for fighting depression – it really does make you feel happy and alive.

Additionally, when you start to exercise you’ll feel more connected to your body. You learn to trust your body to sustain and support you. You may also enjoy the physical changes in your body when you exercise, and a better connection to your body and a pride in your physique make it much easier to enjoy a better sex life.

Scientifically, exercise boosts blood flow to those important areas. It increases sex hormones, testosterone specifically, in both men and women. And when you exercise you’ll be more flexible and your stamina will improve.

Ready to go out and lift some weights or run? Wait, there are still more benefits to explore.

Better Social Connections

There is an abundance of opportunities to socialize when you exercise. Generally speaking, there are five different approaches to exercise.

  1. You can exercise in your home or outside on your own. This isn’t great for building social connections.
  2. You can join or create an exercise club. For example, you might organize a group of friends to walk, run, or bike several times a week. This gets you out and active, while also allowing you regular time to hang out with your friends. You’re improving your health, they’re getting healthier and you are able to enjoy the benefits of friendship.
  3. Take an exercise class. From Zumba to a spin class, when you regularly attend fitness classes you’re going to see the same people in every class. This provides an excellent opportunity to connect with new people and make friends.

People who exercise together bond over the activity, and it’s not uncommon to forge great friendships with the people you meet in a fitness class.

  1. Join a gym. Just like taking an exercise class, when you join a gym you’re going to see many people on a regular basis. It’s not uncommon for gyms to make efforts to build a community around their gym. In fact, many CrossFitters say that’s one of the biggest benefits of being a member of a particular gym; the sense of community feels great.
  2. Hire a personal trainer. Hiring a personal trainer helps you stay motivated and it makes sure that you’re performing the movements correctly, and for maximum benefit. Small group training means that you train with others who have similar goals. It can be social and fun.

The social benefits of exercise are often ones that we don’t think about. Yet they can be profound and have a dramatic impact on your life. Friends and social outings are beneficial at any age, and fitness helps you bond with like-minded people.

Improved Mobility

Many older people have mobility issues. It happens for a variety of reasons. Sedentary lifestyles reduce blood flow to joints, ligaments, and muscles. Bone density decreases and bones become fragile. Vision decreases, which impacts balance and confidence.

Exercise combats these challenges in a number of ways and can make you more mobile. As your mobility increases, pain decreases – and so too does your risk of injury. Strength training increases bone density as well as muscle strength.

It also increases blood flow to your tissues which improves mobility. When you’re more mobile you’re able to do more and be more active. So exercise improves mobility, which in turn enables you to get more exercise.

Reduced Risk of Disease/Stronger Immune System

reduce risk of disease

According to MedlinePlus and the National Library of Medicine, exercise helps strengthen your immune system in four key ways.

  1. Exercise gets rid of bacteria in your lungs and airways, which can reduce your risk of getting an airborne illness like a cold or the flu.
  2. Exercise also causes your immune system and white blood cells to circulate more quickly through your body. This puts them in contact with more viruses and invaders and may help prevent infections and illness.
  3. The increase in your body temperature when you exercise can prevent bacteria from multiplying. They don’t like heat, which is one of the reasons why you run a fever when you’re ill. It’s a natural defense mechanism.
  4. Finally, exercise combats stress by reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol, which can damage your immune system.

(Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007165.htm)

Additionally, exercise reduces your risk of many major diseases, including:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia

The bottom line is that exercise is great for your health. It gives you more energy, it improves your sleep and it strengthens your immune system. But we’re not done yet.

Improved Longevity

Studies on exercise and longevity have found that 150 minutes of weekly exercise can add more than three years to your lifespan. In one study, people who went for a brisk walk each day were more likely to be alive 15 years after beginning their walking program than those who were sedentary. Another study said that people who lived sedentary lives were six times as likely to die from heart disease (the number one killer in America) than those who exercised.

There are a variety of reasons why exercise helps you live longer, and many of them have a direct correlation with your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Exercise balances your body and strengthens your systems. And the good news is that it’s never too late to start. You begin to receive the benefits almost immediately, and exercise – even begun later in life – can add years to your life expectancy.

Improved Mental Performance

The Benefits of Exercising After 50

Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about the increasing number of people being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. While doctors don’t know the cause of many different types of Dementia (including Alzheimer’s), they do know that people who exercise have a reduced risk of the disease.

Additionally, people who exercise have a stronger memory, response time, and improved cognition. Forgetfulness and slow reaction times are often associated with aging, but they don’t have to be. Regular exercise can mean staying on top of your game and staying sharp well into your golden years.

The benefits of exercise are significant, and it’s important to mention that exercise can mean anything that you want it to. If you love to dance, then dance for your exercise. If you enjoy rock climbing then hit the gym or your local climbing area. If you like to walk or bicycle or swim or lift weights, it’s all good.

Embrace exercise as a way to move your body and get your heart pumping. It can mean going to the gym and getting on a treadmill, but it doesn’t have to. Having a preconceived notion of what it means to exercise is one of many challenges people face when they are thinking about starting an exercise program.

 

Last word

Exercising after 50 can have its own set of unique challenges. But the good news is that there are some proven ways that can make you look and feel younger, not only physically but also spiritual, if want to look 10 years younger you can read this article here.

 

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