How Important Is Exercise for Anti-Aging?

Here’s a one-question health quiz: Can exercise be as effective as prescription drugs in helping to prevent heart disease, stroke, and diabetes? If you answered yes, you aced the test.

Hundreds of studies show that even moderate exercise like walking has tremendous health benefits. Just 15 minutes a day of moderate exercise can extend your lifespan up to three years — that’s a pretty good incentive to put on your walking shoes.

The many benefits of regular exercise

A study published by the National Institutes of Health lists numerous health benefits of regular exercise, including reducing your risk for a number of serious health conditions, such as:

The benefits don’t stop there. Besides preventing disease, regular exercise improves your health and overall well-being by:

The good news: you don’t have to be an Olympic runner to gain these benefits. Just going for a walk around your neighborhood five days a week can get you there.

Exercise and the effects of aging

Many people undergo at least one cosmetic surgical procedure to delay the effects of aging, but exercise truly is the anti-aging elixir.

A study of 5,000 adults in the US showed that, at the cellular level, people who get vigorous exercise regularly have a “biological age advantage” of nine years over those who don’t exercise or exercise only lightly or moderately. Those who exercise moderately have an advantage of seven years over those with sedentary lifestyles.

This study and others have found that exercise has a beneficial effect on your telomeres, the tops of chromosomes. Researchers found a marked difference between the telomere length of people who exercise regularly and those who don’t.

People who don’t exercise have shorter telomeres, and they’re more prone to disease, including cancer, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. Researchers aren’t sure exactly why, but exercise preserves the length of your telomeres, possibly because exercise reduces inflammation.

It’s never too late to start exercising

Even if you’ve never exercised, it’s never too late to start. You’ll reap benefits at any age. If you have a chronic health condition, follow your doctor’s advice on the type of exercise that you should engage in. For instance, training for a 5K if you have shin splints is a losing proposition.

If you have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor can prescribe physical therapy, starting you off with simple exercises and making adjustments to your plan as you progress. The goal of physical therapy for arthritis is to strengthen the muscles surrounding your arthritic joints, relieving some of the pressure on the joints themselves.

When you start exercising, you’ll likely feel better physically. And any time you improve your physical fitness, you’re increasing your life expectancy and helping to prevent disease. As an added benefit, once you start exercising regularly, you’ll most likely lose weight.

Once you’re at your desired weight, you may want to smooth out any leftover lumps or stubborn pockets of fat you can’t get rid of through diet and exercise. Then, through body contouring treatments, the experts at Pacific Wellness of Ventura can help your body look as young as you feel.

For help creating an exercise plan or for other anti-aging services, call Pacific Wellness of Ventura or book an appointment online today.

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