Benefits Of Exercise Beyond The Teen Years

Regular exercise is as important as a proper diet with fruits, lean meats and vegetables. As you get older, maintaining muscle mass becomes more difficult, so the need for regular exercise is important. Many studies are finding that people who walk, run, do aerobics or some form of regular physical activity have a better state of mind. Exercise is not just about your physical appearance, it also helps to improve functions in the body as you get older.

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals that make you feel better. You’ve seen children who are outdoors playing. Initially, they are like caged animals released from pens. But, after a few minutes of running around, children begin to calm down. Children need physical activity to release bottled up energy. It has the same effect on adults. Once you start to sweat you begin to release all the bottled up emotions.

In addition, recent studies show that daily exercise can delay the onset of many diseases common to aging adults. This includes arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. A regular exercise regimen can also eliminate feelings of depression, anxiety, insomnia, improve memory and help to restore the focus needed for multitasking.

You may think that because you have not exercised in years that you won’t be able to develop muscles and get into shape. While it is true that after the age of 40 you begin to lose muscle mass at the rate of one percent per year, with nearly double that after the age of 50, you can reverse it at any age; it just takes a little more work.

Doctors recommend at least two strenuous workouts per week to get the heart pumping and the body sweating. If you haven’t been to the gym or a club in a while, you can start slowly and work up to the strength training exercises. Take a walk through your community, do a few pushups daily, bowl or play tennis. Anything that gets your body moving for 30-minutes a day is going to help to improve your health.

The most important thing you need to do is stick to it. There are elliptical machines in many homes collecting dust. Set realistic goals and meet them. Eliminate the excuses that you don’t have the time or the money to do it now. Remaining sedentary will cost you more than money for doctor’s visits, surgeries, and prescriptions.

Exercise is not a punishment. If you view your workout as a necessary piece of your existence, which it is, it will become a good habit that you will keep with you for life.

Ashley Andrews is a San Diego-based freelance writer who blogs on a wide range of green living, business, health and technology topics.

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