We all know the many benefits of exercise to help keep us healthy. It turns out that the same regime can be used to help us age gracefully and decrease muscle loss and decline of brain functioning.
Two types of exercise, aerobics and strength training, have been proven to bring lots of benefits and slow down the aging process. Aerobics or cardio exercises kick up the heart rate and make you sweat. Strength training uses forms of weight to resist the gravity, which in turn builds your muscles.
You can perform both forms of exercise without investing in special equipment and taking up much space in your home. You may need few dumbbells or barbells or use the weight of your own body in strength training.
• Aerobics Exercises
Cardio exercises like jogging, walking, swimming, and cycling help reverse heart disorders, reduce the risk of dementia, boost the immune system and strengthen brain functions.
A study that came out in the journal Circulation, revealed that performing high-intensity exercises improved heart functions and prevented stiffening of heart muscles which develop as a consequence of aging.
Another study found that middle-aged women who were fit had 88% fewer chances of developing dementia. Simple exercises like cycling produce muscle mass and strength and lead to healthier immune systems that can counter age-related problems. Even walking has its benefits and strengthens the connection of brain parts to prevent memory loss.
It doesn’t take much to do some cardio or aerobic exercise and devoting 20 to 30 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week makes a worthwhile difference.
• Strength Training
You can use your body weight or free weights for strength training. According to research you can perform the exercises in two ways: by using light weights and doing more reps; or, using more weight and doing fewer reps.
Physiologist Chris Jordan, creator of the popular 7 minute workout, suggests that you should strength train as a part of your exercise routine for 3 to 4 days a week along with your cardio and aerobics routine.
You can also try out other exercises that involve a series of movement like the Chinese martial art form Tai Chi. You can develop your strength by performing the high precision movements that put emphasis on deep breathing.
Whatever you do, keeping your body moving has many benefits for the whole body and will help you age gracefully.