Most of us are aware of how beneficial exercise can be, but did you know it may also slow the effects of aging?
What types of exercise are beneficial?
Tai chi and yoga are especially useful for older adults because they are forms of low impact strength training. Strength training helps prevent muscle loss. These types of exercise also help with balance, which can become more critical as we age.
Cardio, such as jogging, has been linked to a healthier heart. Having a healthy heart not only means your risk of heart failure and related conditions is reduced, but it also means your heart is more efficient at pumping blood throughout the body. An efficient heart means an efficient life.
Biking, which is also gentle on the joints, has been linked to a stronger immune system.
Swimming is another type of cardio that will help ward off dementia. The Journal of Neurology published a study that found physically fit middle-aged folks are 88% less likely to develop dementia than their moderately fit peers.
How much time should I spend exercising?
This is one of the most common questions fitness experts get, and lots of research has been done to find the right answer.
After reviewing about 100 of the most well-designed published studies, a research article published in Neurology: Clinical Practice determined that forty minute workout sessions three times per week are ideal for the older population.
They found consistency is more important than the amount of time spent per workout. If hour-long exercise routines are burning you out, try doing shorter workouts more often.
Should I do cardio or strength training?
It is recommended that you do both for different reasons. Cardio supports heart health, can boost immunity, help reverse aging, and combat memory problems. Additionally, it can help to keep your weight down, skin fresh, and can improve mood after just one workout.
Strength training can help with attention span, memory, weight, muscle tone, and balance. It can be done with your own body weight (in the form of lunges, push-ups, and squats) or with inexpensive equipment (such as resistance bands or a pair of dumbbells).
By doing a mix of both, you will get all of these benefits and then some. Furthermore, adding variety to your exercise routine may help to prevent burnout and boredom.
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