4 Benefits of Physical Activity As You Age
Being physically active is ideal at any age.
Whether you have mobility issues or not, getting in some physical activity each and every day is a must.
For your health, you should always prioritize an active lifestyle.
But, if you’re not convinced or if you feel like it’s too hard to get going, these four benefits will help motivate you.
1) Being Active Keeps You Active
The number one benefit of getting more active is that, in time, you’ll find it easier to stay active.
Getting started is truly the hardest part. In the first few days, weeks, or even months, you may find yourself to be stiff and sore.
But, as time goes by, you will be improving your posture, improving circulation, improving your stamina, and–of course–maintaining muscle mass.
The calories you burn through physical activity will also help shave off excess fat.
All of these things mean that staying active will be easier once you get active.
It’s the actual beginning of the journey that tends to be so difficult for most people.
2) It Reduces Your Risk of Disease
Living a more active lifestyle does some incredible things for your body.
For instance, being more active is going to cut down on your risk for many diseases and conditions.
Heart disease and heart attacks are just two things that you will see a reduced risk for as you begin to implement more activities into your lifestyle.
You’ll also be at a decreased risk of things like inflammation, arthritis, and even diabetes.
3) You’ll Feel Better
Getting active has been linked time and time again to a better mood.
In fact, exercising releases the “happy” hormones in your brain to stimulate your body. In turn, you will find that you have more energy and more clarity in your thoughts too.
That makes exercise great for both your physical well-being and your mental well-being.
Staying active on a regular basis will lead to many benefits you never even thought possible.
Like finding that you sleep better at night.
4) You’ll Look Better
Two of the most obvious benefits of being more active are also great reasons to get started.
One, you’ll lose weight. Two, you’ll have the chance to maintain and even build muscle mass.
Certain activities (like cardio) promote more weight loss on average while other activities (like hiking) promote more muscle growth on average.
But no matter what you choose to do, you’ll see improvements in both weight and strength.
How Much Exercise Do You Need As You Age?
Most people slow down as they age, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, if you choose to get and stay active, you could enjoy a healthy and independent lifestyle well past the age of 90.
But, your exercise will change as you get older in order to accommodate your changing tastes and changing needs.
Here’s a look at what you should be doing to stay active into retirement and beyond.
1) Opt for Low-Impact
While the youth might be able to get away with running and other high-impact activities, most won’t be able to put up with it for long.
In fact, even young adults who engage in such activities generally face overuse injuries and even early onset joint pain.
That’s why it’s best to stay away from high-impact activities as much as possible.
But, that doesn’t have to mean boring or even low-intensity.
Bicycling, swimming, and even just walking through the park could all be great low-impact activities for you to adopt as you get older. The trick is to find something that you really enjoy doing.
That might mean golfing or it could be something less common like disc golf, surfing, or even water aerobics.
By finding something that you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to stick with it for the long-term and it will never feel like a chore.
2) Decide What Feels Right
You shouldn’t leave an activity feeling winded or like your heart is pounding out of your chest.
As we age, our safe peak heart rate goes down slightly.
Be kind to your heart and always ask your doctor if you have questions.
With that said, you can actually bring down your resting heart rate (which is linked to longevity) through steady state cardio.
Whatever you’re doing, always stop and take a break if you feel tired.
If this happens repeatedly, consider retiring the activity and finding something with a bit less intensity to it.
3) Know Your Limits
You should always strive to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
But, you can get far more than that. It’s all up to you and your limits.
Everyone will have different capabilities and preferences and you need to recognize them as you get older.
Don’t push yourself too hard and you will be able to realize awesome benefits from your active lifestyle.