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5 Ways That Exercise Can Slow Aging

By Julie Mansfield | 3rd Mar, 2016

Exercise can most definitely slow down the aging process if utilised correctly. Of course, chronic or obsessive exercise patterns can end up causing more harm to the body than good, so it’s important to find the correct balance for you. In addition, exercise can’t fix a lifestyle filled with stress, alcohol, or overall unhealthy eating habits. Generally, exercise provides health-boosting effects in the right quantities and varieties.

Aim to be more physically active in your everyday life and you should reap the rewards of a longer life expectancy. Exercise isn’t the magic elixir, but it can definitely improve your quality of life. A well-balanced plan including both cardio and strength work will do the trick. Check out these ways that exercise is believed to slow aging.

1.   Slow Aging in Our Cells

It is believed that our cells’ telomeres, which are the caps at each end a strand of our DNA that protect chromosomes, shorten due to an unhealthy lifestyle and excess weight. By exercising, it is believed that we may be able to slow the fraying of the telomeres by exercising on a consistent basis.

Studies have shown that more physically active people have longer telomeres than their sedentary counterparts. At this point, there isn’t a specified amount of exercise that produces slowed fraying of telomeres, but the overall association is that some form of physical activity is helpful for the health of your cells and thus decreases the amount of aging.

2.   Decreases Body Fat

Increased levels of body fat create inflammation in the body and make it harder for it to function and move on a daily basis. This increased stress on the body can shorten a lifespan due to how vulnerable it makes you to disease, illness, and injury. Of course, a certain level of fat is crucial for the body’s regulation of important functions such as hormone production. Too much fat can create an imbalance in hormones, inflammation, and other factors that are known to contribute to disease and thus limit lifespan. By exercising, you decrease body fat, which will limit all of the discussed side effects.

3.  Increases Muscle and Bone Density

Exercise, specifically lifting weights, increases muscle mass. More lean mass is good for you because it burns calories while you’re sedentary, so you have less of a chance of putting on more weight. In addition, more muscle means more stability and less room for injury, which could also contribute to an increased lifespan. Furthermore, lifting weights helps build up bone mass, so you don’t have to worry about a loss that could cause other health complications as you get older.

4.   Increases Heart Health

Exercise most definitely gets your heart pumping, and this pumping leads to better functioning and less problems down the line. By exercising, you increase your aerobic and anaerobic capacity and by doing so, you make your heart stronger. Your body will become more efficient at pumping blood throughout your body, which can lead to better health and a longer life expectancy. This can help ward off longevity-decreasing events such as heart attacks.

5.   Decreases Anxiety and Stress

In general, a solid exercise sessions helps bust stress, anxiety and depression. The reason it does this is because it produces endorphins, which produce a positive feeling in the body. These endorphins make you feel better, and therefore you enjoy more of your life more. Happiness is a given life-lengthener because it decreases the chance for stress and anxiety that wear your body down and make it more vulnerable to sickness and infection.

By warding off these factors, you can not only enjoy your life more, but most likely live longer due to the increased happiness and drive and desire to live more fully.