As we begin to age, our body begins to go through many different changes including loss of muscle mass, arthritic changes, balance changes, changes to our mental health & even an increased risk of heart disease. These changes often occur through natural mechanisms & will largely differ for each individual. However, research has shown that exercise can not only treat the symptoms that may arise from any one of these changes but can largely help to prevent or prolong these changes from occurring.
It is recommended that you participate in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week. This can include activities like walking, riding or swimming, lifting weights or completing housework.
Muscle mass often peaks at the age of 25. However, after the age of 50 the loss of muscle mass can exceed 0.5kg of muscle per year. Resistance training is the most effective means of slowing this decrease in muscle mass, ensuring that you remain mobile & functional with increased age.
Arthritis is a condition that affects every individual differently, but the common misconception that exercise further damages your joints is very untrue. Exercise is now used as one of the most effective treatments for people with osteoarthritis and can be used to prevent & slow the progression of arthritis.
Exercise also has many benefits for our mental health & has been shown to decrease anxiety & stress whilst increasing your mood. It has also been shown decrease your risk of dementia & depression.
Cardiovascular disease, is a narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. There are many risk factors that can lead to an increased risk of heart disease such as, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking & more. Exercise can help in the management or prevention of these risk factors & help reduce your overall risk of cardiovascular disease.
By aiming to exercise a minimum of 150 minutes per week, you give yourself the best chances of remaining healthy, staying strong & fighting off chronic conditions.