There are many reasons why millions of people of all ages engage in a regular workout program.
Some do it to be healthy, others to look better or recover from injury. Some do it simply to test the limits of their bodies. The point is, exercise is a solution for many different goals.
Not only does physical activity accomplish short-term objectives, it also makes certain long-term goals achievable as well. Oftentimes, the ones who are the healthiest and fittest are the ones who've been sticking to a solid regimen for an extended period.
Exercise routines can help us down the road in a variety of ways. When we get older, and it becomes a little more difficult to keep our mind and body as sharp as they once were, the ones who have spent their lives exercising are generally in a much better position.
Here are just some of the ways in which lifelong exercise impacts one’s performance later in life.
Exercise is one of the classic tools people use to fight aging. However, it is not only to combat the physical effects but the mental aspects of getting older as well.
As people age, they gradually start to lose their mental sharpness, which can become a slippery slope of memory loss and even depression. Consistent, extended periods of exercise help to hold off this natural process.
Anti-aging clinics have conducted numerous studies about the connection between cognitive abilities and exercise in older people.
They have found that, in people over the age of 50, those who have engaged in a steady programme of resistance and aerobic training have an elevated level of brain power.
To break it down further, aerobic exercises improved cognitive abilities like alertness and information processing, while resistance training helped with memory and goal-oriented behaviours.
Overall, the results determined that the cardiovascular system – which is aided by physical activity – is connected to brain function.
A healthier cardiovascular system equals a healthier brain, which keeps you as mentally sharp as you ever were.
Consistent exercise not only assists a person’s mental capacity but also helps hold off harmful bodily ailments.
It is no secret that consistent exercise makes the heart stronger. As we exert our bodies, our hearts are called upon to pump more blood in order to keep our muscles functioning at a high level.
The heart is in charge of increasing blood and oxygen flow, which keeps your stamina up during stretches of strenuous exercise.
People who spend their lives not exercising often pay for it with heart issues down the road. Physical activity makes the heart stronger, which reduces the likelihood of heart disease.
Additionally, a healthy heart beats at a slower rate than an unhealthy one.
The reason you are out of breath when you exercise for the first time in a long while is because your heart is out of shape and was already beating at an accelerated rate before the exercise began.
Your heart cannot adequately supply enough blood and oxygen to keep you going during that last mile, while the experienced person’s heart is beating much slower, giving it the ability to provide more than enough of both.
A healthy heart also contributes to a longer life. People who have exercised their entire lives have healthier hearts that are more capable of keeping them alive into their 80s and 90s.
These people have lower blood pressure, decreasing the risk of a heart attack. Overall, a healthy heart due to consistent exercise ends up paying dividends later on.
Your body’s blood sugar levels are regulated by your pancreas. This organ produces insulin and processes sugar, making it a vital part of the anatomy.
Diabetes, one of the deadliest (and fastest-growing) diseases in the world, occurs when the pancreas becomes unable to produce insulin at the level it needs to, or stops processing the body’s sugar properly.
It turns out that regular exercise over many years helps to prevent this terrible affliction from rearing its ugly head. When you engage in strenuous physical activity, your body uses the sugar that it has in order to give you energy.
As a result, sugar levels remain low, putting far less stress on your pancreas compared to someone with extra sugar to burn. This also helps your body produce insulin, which again prevents diabetic conditions.
It is no coincidence that a good portion of those suffering from diabetes did not exercise enough prior to having the disease. Physical activity helps your body regulate its blood sugar level, keeping your pancreas healthy for the long haul.
What Should You Do?
One of the greatest things about exercise is that it’s never too late to start. It is never too late to turn your life around. It is never too late to make a healthy choice.
If you are one of those people who has spent his or her life burning a consistent sweat, good for you – you’re ahead of the game. But even if you slacked off in your younger years, there’s still time to make some moves.
Regardless of how old you are, it is recommended that you engage in at least half an hour’s worth of exercise each day. It doesn’t have to be a puke-inducing punishment workout but something that gets your heart rate up for a little while goes a very long way if you do it regularly.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your clean bill of health. However, if you choose to stick to a good routine that is maintainable, your body could soon feel as good as it ever has.
Author Bio: Greg Dalby is a digital marketing veteran, with over a decade of experience running eCommerce websites across the globe. He currently serves as the Director of eCommerce for United Sports Brands.
Aerobic exercises improve cognitive abilities like alertness and information processing, while resistance training helps with memory and goal-oriented behaviours.