The aging process can have an enormous impact on the human body. As people age, they may notice a loss of agility, balance, endurance and strength as well as a loss of bone density and muscle mass. Likewise, they may also notice an increase in body fat and possible joint injuries.
It is estimated that four out of every five adults aged 50 years and above are suffering from at least one condition that is chronic.
Yet, some of the most prominent effects of aging may be mitigated by exercising regularly. Exercising can have numerous positive effects for folks over 50 because of its ability to increase balance, increase flexibility, increase mobility and lower blood pressure. It can also help people maintain a healthy weight and reduce the chance of developing diseases and disabilities.
Exercise can have an especially positive effect on heart and brain health. A study reported by the Gerontological Society of America found that fitness training led to significant increases in brain volume in people between 60 and 79 years old. Regular exercise can also help treat many chronic health conditions, including arthritis, heart disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, joint and muscle pain and diabetes.
According to research at the School of Gerontology at UC Davis, exercising may even have the potential to increase lifespan, and three hours of exercise each week could possibly extend a person’s life by five years.
But wait...there's more!
Exercise can build muscle and bone mass, boost cardiovascular health, increase your energy levels and make you feel stronger! And, it leads to increased energy levels!
Are you getting enough activity?
According to a 2018 report by the CDC, nearly 80 percent of adult Americans do not get the recommended amounts of exercise each week. And, a 2016 CDC report found that 31 million Americans (28 percent) age 50 years and older are inactive – that is, they are not physically active beyond the basic movements needed for daily life activities. The CDC recommends that adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, or a combination of both. Adults should also engage in muscle-strengthening activities like lifting weights or doing push-ups at least twice per week.
The Necessity of Exercise: Physical Activity and Aging, https://gerontology.usc.edu
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