“Exercise is the closest thing we’ve found to a magic pill for combating the effects of ageing,” says Dr. Linda Fried, dean of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health
It’s official: exercise helps both your mind and body age better! This does not come from fitness gurus trying to draw you into their gyms, but from scientists and healthcare experts who have engaged in conclusive research that proves the far-reaching benefits of exercise on the human mind and body, especially in helping both your brain and brawn fare better as you age.
- Experts claim the best way slow down physiological changes is through CONSISTENT exercise
- A study, cited below, found older adults who were avid cyclists had immune systems that resembled their younger counterparts
- Research also shows that moderate or intense exercise may slow brain ageing by up to 10 years
We do not know if you’re the optimistic kind but to those of a milder disposition, this is all fairly good news! For most of modern life, humans have accepted ageing as something that just happens. As the proponents of the modern Internet phrase YOLO (You Only Live Once) will have you believe, life is to be lived once so you better do all that the heart desires and not worry about consequence. Now steady on…we do not discourage indulging in guilty pleasures every now and then. We encourage you to live life to the fullest. Have that bar of chocolate with your niece once in a while. And savour the feeling while you do that. But here’s what we’d like you to believe:
Ageing DOES NOT have to be burdensome
Just cuz the clock is ticking, it DOES NOT mean you accept pains,
aches, and the slowing down of your body
By making smarter lifestyle choices, RESEARCH tells you
that you can stay healthier, fitter, happier for longer
And we say this because there’s a goldmine of credible scientific evidence that confirms these claims. We’ll break down some of that evidence for you in this article today. As for the proclamations made above, instil them in your mind. Or write them with butter on your mirror. Yes, you can lick some of that butter off your finger, it won’t hurt, it’s delicious. Anyway, the point is do not forget these proclamations, for they’re true. We’re here to help you see the long-term benefits of exercise on your health so you can start slow and gradually build up while keeping consistent.
So what are the long term benefits of exercise?
Exercise Boosts Immunity
The human body’s immune responses get slower as we age, which makes older adults more susceptible to respiratory conditions as well as problems in breathing. But a study done at the UK’s King’s College London and the University of Birmingham found that older adults with consistent, high intensity exercise routines had immune systems that replicated those of much younger age. The participants of the study were all recreational cyclists and aged between 55-79 years.
“An organ called the thymus, which makes immune cells called T cells, starts to shrink from the age of 20 and makes less T cells. In this study, however, the cyclists’ thymuses were making as many T cells as those of a younger person,” a media release from the University of Birmingham says.
Exercise Works to Slow Down your Biological Clock
An exercise science professor at the Brigham Young University examined data of roughly 6,000 adults, ranging from the age of 20-84. The BYU professor concluded that adults who ran for a minimum 30-40 minutes, five days a week, almost had a nine-year “biological ageing” advantage over adults who led sedentary lifestyles. Now running for that duration five times a week may not be easy but who can not be motivated by the advantage of feeling nine years younger than your actual age? The idea here is to understand there is an advantage to our health if we are able to not just start exercising but to also increase our capacity to exercise as we go. There is a wealth of exercise videos on the Longlive app. The best is, we have exercises for all levels. Check those out to start at a level comfortable for you and then work your way up.
Exercise Keeps Your Mind Fresher and Younger
Renowned neuroscientist and author Wendy Suzuki says exercise is “the most transformative thing you can do for your brain today.” She also says exercise equips a person with better mood, better energy, better memory, and better attention. But does exercise also slow ageing in the brain? A study conducted by the American Academy of Neurology showed that moderate to intense exercise may slow ageing in the brain down by 10 years. The study included 876 people with an average age of 71. Over a period of time, participants who either didn’t exercise at all or got a minimal level of exercise experienced a greater mental decline than those who engaged in moderate or intense physical activity.
Is It Ever Too Late?
We know what you’re thinking. Most of the research cited here showed improvements in older adults, sure, but weren’t they also the special few who had been engaging in exercise in the long term? Will it have the same impact on me if I start now? Scientists say while much of the research focuses on adults with long-term fitness habits, it’s NEVER too late to start reaping benefits of physical activity. Ageing is a process that can be delayed or accelerated depending on the action we take. In your case, you find you find yourself reading this on an app that is there to help you reach your well-being goals.
We’ll see you in the exercise videos section of the Longliveapp!