Have you ever envisioned your life 30 years from now? What do you look like? How do you feel? Are you able to play with your grandchildren and enjoy everyday activities?
These are common questions among most in regards to their future and quality of life as they evolve through the aging process. The question remains how we can slow down the aging process and ensure that our future is bright and fruitful?
As a personal trainer, I have had the good fortune and pleasure to work with many seniors over the course of my 20 years in the fitness industry. Through my very own hands-on experience, I have been able to witness the physical benefit of exercise and healthy nutrition can yield a higher quality of life and sense of well-being among the senior population.
So what exactly are the benefits of exercise as we age?
As we progress through the aging process, our bodies lose a percentage of muscular strength and endurance through the years. The integrity and muscle size tends to decrease or atrophy unless an outside stimulus such as exercise is introduced.
Fortunately, exercise can help slow down and counteract the breakdown of our muscles and bones as we age, considerably. Engaging in a resistance training program can help to prevent muscle atrophy, and to maintain strength and vitality as we grow older. Furthermore, weight-bearing exercise can also help to increase bone mineral density and hinder the onset of osteoporosis
While the benefits exercise manifests pertaining to muscle integrity and strength, as well as bone strength, there are more powerful and underestimated benefits to engaging in exercise as you get older in relation to emotions, happiness, and well-being. It has been my experience as a personal trainer that depression and lack of self-image can be prevalent among the senior population. Research shows that the stimulation that exercise brings can help to prevent or lessen depression and feelings of low self-worth experienced in the senior community.
Studies have shown that participants in regular exercise tend to have higher degrees of quality of life and an increased sense of well-being.
In summation, it has been my experience that adherence to an exercise regimen can help to slow down the aging process. Benefits in muscular strength and endurance, as well as bone mineral density, have all been witnessed as a result of engaging in regular physical exercise. Psychological benefits in regards to self-image and self-worth have also been seen to increase as a result of participating in routine exercise.
As fitness professionals, I feel that it is our mission to educate and promote physical activity among our seniors. Regardless of the exercise form, whether it's yoga, running, weight training, or swimming, finding a form of movement and fitness that keeps you passionate and youthful in spirit, will have countless benefits and is far superior to too much stillness. Hopefully, together we can help to improve longevity and health throughout of the lifespan's of many.
By Eric Leader
Eric Leader is the owner of Every Body's Personal Trainer an in home personal training company. Every Body's pt is the largest in home personal training company on the east coast.
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