Exercise is essential and has many crucial benefits to your health and wellness.
For one, your body is a fully functional machine, one that needs consistent activity in order to maintain or improve its state.
Fitness is also useful as a form of treatment. The administration of exercises as a form of medicine is now accepted due to the net positive effects it has on the body.
This is especially true when considering rehabilitative and corrective exercises aimed at recovery and fixing imbalances and deviations in the musculoskeletal system.
For some, fitness is an essential way to make a living. Pro athletes rely on maintaining a strict level of performance in order to remain career-relevant.
One aspect of fitness that is often overlooked is its relevance to older people.
Staying fit is often misconstrued as a young people’s game, with older people often considering fitness as an unnecessary endeavor.
However, this attitude seems to be shifting. Partly because an entire generation of individuals who jumped into fitness at the genesis of its mainstream explosion are now entering their middle and senior age, carrying on their healthy habits.
Another reason for this shift is the advanced findings that medical and sports science has unearthed regarding the importance and efficacy of sustained fitness training into one’s golden years.
Why Exercise is important in our Later Years
Exercise is not just a young person’s activity. Evidence suggests that fitness is just as important for older people as it is for the youth.
One reason for this is it helps keep the body ticking for longer. As we grow old, we lose functional capability. This leads to a gradual dependence on others for our care and daily needs.
This loss of independence can be inconvenient at best and demoralizing at its core. By exercising, your body maintains functionality for longer in your life. This results in more independence than you would normally expect for a senior citizen.
Evidence also suggests that with the right exercise plan, you can roll off the functional equivalent of 30 years off your age!
That means a reasonably active 60 years old can have the functional age of a person in their early 30s. This not only improves your healthspan and lifespan, but it also boosts your sense of wellbeing, confidence, and zest for life.
Older people who train are more youthful in the way they look, act and enjoy the opportunity to be alive.
Top 5 Ways To Exercise For A Longer, Happier Life
High-intensity interval training is a form of metabolic conditioning that has swept the globe.
Every gym worth its salt has some form of HIIT on offer.
This method of training works by ramping up the intensity level of an exercise past its aerobic or cardio capacity, forcing you into an anaerobic state.
In this state, you body is placed under metabolic stress, which eventually conditions your metabolism to function at a higher rate.
Since a decline in metabolic activity and its consequences are one of the typical signs of aging, getting your metabolism back up to speed is a worthy way to slow down the effects of aging.
Yoga is another popular spot on the contemporary fitness map.
This method of training as you might be aware is focused on performing stretch exercises that enhance your flexibility and range of motion. It also targets breathing, helping improve breath cycles and lung capacity.
That’s it for the physical benefits.
Yoga, as you know, is steeped in ancient mysticism that connects body, mind, and soul through a holistic meditative experience.
This makes yoga a great and rewarding practice not just for your body, but for your subtle self, boosting all aspects of your wellbeing.
3. Team Sports
Team sports are fun to watch. They form the bulk of mainstream spectator sports.
Participating in a team sport is an experience on a different level. Managing individual and group commitments in a high stakes scenario is a great way to train the mind and keep it sharp.
This allows your neural pathways to continuously refresh, especially at a point in life where their effectiveness begins to fade.
The cognitive benefits of team sports help stave off age-related neurological conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The social interactive aspect of team sports is also a valuable way for older people to maintain a healthy social circle, something that declines the older we get.
Swimming is great because it offers full-body resistance training as well as cardio without the risk of high impact and the risks it brings to the joints.
Swimming can also be scaled up and down between low-intensity steady-state cardio and high-intensity interval training, making it a versatile, safe and refreshing way to exercise.
5. Bodyweight and Functional
Bodyweight training and functional mobility are essential to maintaining correct biomechanical efficiency, especially in our later years.
Engaging in activities such as calisthenics, pilates, and primal movement have been shown to trigger improvements in muscle and bone health.
It’s pretty clear to see that training in one’s senior years is not just beneficial, its downright necessary.
One important caveat is to make sure you get an all-clear from your doctor before you take on any strenuous activity.