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EXERCISE ESPECIALLY GOOD FOR SENIORS
By Rebekah Alcalde
Everyone knows it’s better to be active than a couch potato, but did you know that physical activity was recently shown to be the number one factor to adding years to your life? That’s true even if you only start exercising later in life. It really is that simple — getting moving and staying active will improve your health, likely add years to your life, and even improve memory and cognitive function. And you’ll feel happier doing it.
Need more incentive? Here are some more reasons to help convince you to get off that couch!
Exercise (paired with healthy eating, of course) often leads to weight loss, which has a myriad of other health benefits. You can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease as well as lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Exercising also helps boost your metabolism, which tends to slow down as you get older.
It also reduces the impact of getting sick and chronic illness. Though it’s different for everyone, active people tend to have better immune and digestive systems, have lower risks of diabetes and osteoporosis, and better blood pressure and bone density.. It’s even been said that exercise lowers the risk of some cancers.
It increases flexibility and mobility! One of the best things about exerting the effort to exercise is that it gets easier and more natural the more you do it. You will gradually feel less stiff and build muscle mass, as well as improve your posture, balance and coordination. It also greatly reduces the risk of debilitating falls. Though in the case of injury, active people do tend to bounce back quicker, so that’s an added bonus.
You’ll also sleep better. If this doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what else will. Not only will you feel tired from the physical exertion, your body will be more limber, and you’ll fall asleep quicker, sleep deeper and wake up feeling refreshed.
It makes you happy — literally! Exercise causes your brain to naturally produce endorphins, which can greatly reduce feelings of sadness, depression and anxiety. If you’re feeling stressed, regular exercise can help a lot.
Your brain will thank you too. If you’re worried about staying sharp, regular exercise can help. It improves overall brain function, sharpening areas like multitasking and creativity and decreasing cognitive decline and dementia. It’s even been said to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, so time to get moving!