Most of the signs of growing older come from the body's natural aging process. While it's not currently possible to stop this process from occurring, adding regular exercise to your lifestyle can help stave off some of the common signs of aging.
Maintaining muscle tone and mass through strength training is essential to maintaining a healthy and younger looking body well into retirement and beyond. Maintaining muscle mass helps fill out the skin, reducing the appearance of sagging and wrinkles. Strength training also helps you maintain strength, which not only helps prevent injuries related to common accidents like falling, but also allows you to stay independent longer. Aim to include two to three days of strength training each week, focusing on each of the major muscle groups for maximum impact.
As you continue to age you're more prone to the loss of bone mass and density. These losses put you at a higher risk for broken bones and bone diseases. These changes also cause the outer signs of old age, such as changes in walking gait and posture. Weight bearing exercises, such as jumping exercises or even jogging or walking, help the body continue to build and strengthen the bones to fight back against age-related bone loss.
Aerobic exercise is essential for maintaining the health and effectiveness of the cardiovascular system as you age. Healthy looking and acting cells need adequate oxygen and nutrients to survive and operate to their full potential. Regular aerobic exercise keeps the heart healthy and strong, helping circulate blood to the cells of your body, lowering your blood pressure, and helping prevent heart-related diseases.
Regular exercise of all kinds helps maintain a healthy weight, which not only impacts your outer appearance as you age, but also helps combat age-related diseases. An increasingly sedentary lifestyle with age ensures that muscle tissue will slowly be replaced with greater levels of fat, increasing your size and decreasing your health. Extra fat contributes to the development of conditions and diseases that are more prominent later in life, including diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, heart attack, organ failure and several forms of cancer. Regular aerobic exercise helps ensure you keep your weight under control, while also increasing the length and quality of your life.
While it may be tempting to think you're too old to start exercising and have it impact the aging process, the truth is that it's never too late to include exercise as a part of a healthy lifestyle. Any change in activity will help ensure that you not only look younger, but you'll also live a longer more independent life.