Health Matters Spring 2021 - Page 26

Cardiorespiratory fitness
Manage stress and mood
Improve bone health
Addresses sarcopenia

How exercise can help you live longer

There are many reasons to get in shape . Weight loss is a prime motivator , as is reversing a negative health effect , such as high cholesterol or increased diabetes risk . Routine exercise also can improve life expectancy .
WebMD says exercise keeps the body and brain healthy . That ’ s why exercise should be an important component of daily life no matter one ’ s age .
Research published in the journal Immune Aging found that how people age is 75 percent lifestyle and only 25 percent genetics , which underscores the importance of the lifestyle choices people make .

Cardiorespiratory fitness

Many health experts say that cardiorespiratory fitness may be just as valuable a metric to determine overall health as blood pressure and lipid levels . People with a high aerobic capacity can deliver oxygen to tissues and cells efficiently to fuel exercise , according to data published in 2014 in the journal Aging & Disease . In a study involving 11,335 women , researchers compared V02 max , also known as aerobic capacity , in women with mortality data . Women who were fit from a cardiovascular perspective had a lower death rate from all causes , irrespective of the women ’ s weight .

Manage stress and mood

Exercise has direct stress-busting benefits that can promote longevity . The Mayo Clinic says physical activity can increase the production of endorphins , which are the body ’ s feel-good neurotransmitters . In addition , exercise can imitate the effects of stress , helping the body adjust its flight or fight response accordingly , and help them cope with mildly stressful situations . While engaged in exercise , people may forget about their problems as they are focused on the activity at hand .

Improve bone health

Strength training and physical activity can stave off the effects of frailty and osteoporosis , which affects bone strength . A study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine in 2017 found that hip fractures are associated with diminished quality of life and survival among the elderly . One in three adults aged 50 and over dies within 12 months of suffering a hip fracture , and older adults have a five- to eighttimes greater risk of dying within three months following a hip fracture . Building muscle strength , balance and bone density through exercise can reduce falls and frailty , helping to prevent fracture-related health risks .

Addresses sarcopenia

The health and wellness resource Healthline defines sarcopenia as the loss of muscle mass specifically related to aging . Doctors once considered this muscle loss inevitable , and it can affect stamina and lead to weakness . However , new indications suggest that exercise is the main treatment regimen for sarcopenia , particularly resistance training . This is designed to improve muscle strength and help balance hormone levels by turning protein into energy for older adults .
These are just some of the ways exercise can help older adults live longer , healthier lives .
— Metro Creative Connection
26 Health Matters