Youth boosting workouts
Whether you’re in your 50, 60s or older, it’s never too late to get fit – and enjoy the many benefits of exercise
It’s never too late to improve your fitness! Here’s how.
Now is the time to take control of your fitness. Whether you are juggling your career and family, or enjoying having more time on your hands, you’ll reap huge benefits from focusing on your own wellbeing.
After all, by incorporating various types of exercise into your life, you can lose weight, build muscle, improve bone density and skin tone, and rebalance your hormones and energy, all of which will help slow down the ageing process and create a fitter, more energetic you.
“By exercising, you can trick your body into behaving younger,” says Tracey Mcalpine from Fighting Fifty. “There’s an exciting correlation between exercising and slowing the ageing process at a cellular level. When we exercise, our brains naturally release human growth hormone (HGH) which normally decreases with age. But by exercising we can stimulate its production, helping us to look and feel younger.
“Aerobic exercise has also been shown to lengthen the life of telomeres, the end ‘caps’ to your DNA,” says Mcalpine. “When they shorten, your cells age faster. By lengthening them and keeping cells healthy, they perform better.”
Post-menopausal women, with an average age of 55 and who have a stable weight, are capable of performing many of the same endurance training exercises as younger women, shows a US study. The physical and hormonal changes that come with age don’t slow the ability of these women to get fit.
MAKE IT REGULAR
One hour a day of exercise for 12 weeks can give you the cardiovascular and metabolic capabilities of women 16 years younger.
And while you can’t stop the clock, other research proves you can slow its tick. The key is regular activity – building up to three to four times per week. Mcalpine agrees: “You need to be working out for at least 30 minutes three to five times a week and the more muscles you activate at the same time, the more you’ll fire up your youth-enhancing hormones.”
Exercise can also be the ultimate skin cleansing routine, nourishing the cells and helping to remove waste products. “Exercise increases the blood flow to peripheral surface and collagen levels to keep muscles and the texture of the skin intact,” says Dr Mahalingam Lakshmanan, an integrative medicine practitioner.
“Moderate exercise on a regular basis also has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, which is antiageing, whereas chronic inflammation such as joint pain is associated with ageing,” says Dr Lakshmanan.
STICK WITH IT
Those extra steps you take, the extra five minutes playing tennis or the Pilates class you almost didn’t go to, all add up to big changes long term. It’s just a question of choosing the right types of exercise, sticking at them and having realistic expectations.
Exercise isn’t only about changing what’s on the outside, but just as much about creating shifts in your inner world – improving mood and self-esteem. And if you also make sure your diet is healthy and you’re getting enough sleep, you’re even more likely to reap the full health benefits and further slow the ageing process.