Benefits of exercise on the aging mind and body


An article from Business Insider has been published exploring the benefits of exercise on the aging body and mind, including different ways multiple exercises can be easily implemented in any lifestyle regardless of experience. Anaerobic and aerobic exercise are beneficial to young people but have been shown to be especially so as we age, helping to preserve muscle, maintain balance and strengthen parts of the brain effected by MCI . The article goes on to talk about other effects on the brain such as an increase to attention span and processing speed, all attributed to regular exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In addition, the article explores different ways of implementing resistance training with or without equipment.

Regular cardio will benefit the aging body, even simple forms of cardio have been shown to produce positive results. Walking just a few days a week has been found to strengthen areas of the brain important to cognition,while a 44 year long study on women found a correlation between levels of cardiovascular health and a reduced risk of dementia. Aging adults who engage in regular exercise have been shown to slow or even reverse stiffening of the left ventricle attributed to a sedentary lifestyle as we age, oxygen uptake was also found to have increased. Elderly women suffering from symptoms of MCI may also benefit from regular cardio, more studies need to be done but one study found increased volume of the hippocampus , an area of the brain aiding memory and learning.

Regular anaerobic exercise has many positive impacts on the aging body, things like muscle effectiveness and balance can be maintained with functional forms of resistance training. More research needs to be done but the Chinese art of Tai Chi has been known to help maintain muscle mass, improve balance along with other positive effects . Anaerobic exercise is more than just weight training, squats and other forms of calisthenics improve muscle strength and flexibility. As we age, balance and muscle strength begin to decline, highlighting the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle. Functional resistance training as we age can help maintain or even improve the ability to complete household chores, climb stairs and has been shown to improve joint pain and stiffness.

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