4 Ways Exercise Knocks Years Off Your Looks
by Kathy Smith
There’s no doubt about it… looking young is more desirable then ever. From beauty products to healthy diets, people have always wondered what they can do to defy aging. . I get asked all the time….can exercise keep you young?
Here’s the short answer…maintaining a regular exercise program is fountain of youth. Being physically active as you age makes your body function in the INSIDE more like a younger person’s. Regular exercise improves almost every system in our bodies from lengthening telomeres, to increasing endurance, reaction time and balance. And of course, it strengthens the heart and sharpens the mind.
Today, let’s take a deeper look at 4 ways that exercise helps keep you young.
As we age, we all experience a scary little process I call “The Great Decline”: Every decade, we lose muscle mass, and as we age, the percentage of loss just keeps accelerating. By age 60, the average person will have lost one-third of his/her muscle mass. The good news: you can reverse it with strength training. There’s no age limit on our ability to add muscle and stop The Great Decline.
Muscle is more than the triceps, biceps, and abdominals that immediately come to mind. Muscle is about preventing disease. It is about coordination, balance, agility, and staying active. In short, muscle is about all those qualities we equate with youth such as endurance, energy, and relatively easy weight management.
The hippocampus is the area of our brain where memories are stored – and its also a major target for stress hormones. Chronic stress damages this area – and severe depression can even shrink it – and when you mess with the hippocampus, you start to impact memory and learning. So that forgotten anniversary or forgotten coffee cup may not just be a sign of absent-mindedness – it could be a sign that stress is affecting your brain on a cellular level.
So what are the best ways to battle those negative effects on our brains? Cardio. Regular aerobic exercise will make you smarter, faster, happier, and make your brain function like a younger persons. Plus, it’ll make you look years younger.
As a matter of fact, Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist from Harvard, says that cardio is one of the best treatments for ADD and poor mental focus, as well as anxiety.
Cardiovascular exercise is a double-winner, because not only does it help your brain, but it is also literally “training your heart.” According to the Mayo Clinic, as little as 30 minutes of daily exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease because when you are active, you can have more control over your weight. And as you know, extra pounds can increase one’s chances for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes, all of which contribute to the aging process.
And that’s not all: regular exercise lowers your blood pressure. Activities like walking increases and maintains a steady arterial pressure during the exercise, it’s an excellent way to keep your circulation (and the rest of your bood) in tip-top shape and help turn back the clock.
Exercise not only appears to keep skin younger, it may also even reverse skin aging in people who start exercising late in life, according to surprising new research.
As many of us know from woeful experience, our skin changes as the years advance, resulting in wrinkles, crow’s feet and sagging. This occurs because of changes within our layers of skin. As time goes by, the layer of skin beneath the epidermis, the dermis, begins to thin. It loses cells and elasticity, giving the skin a more translucent and often saggier appearance.
These changes are independent of any skin damage from the sun. They are solely the result of the passage of time.
But, researchers found that after age 40, the men and women who exercised frequently had markedly thinner, healthier thicker dermis layers. And, their skin was much closer in composition to that of the 20- and 30-year-olds than to that of others of their age, even if they were past age 65.
Exercise absolutely makes you look healthy, fit and glowing with positive energy, which radiates a younger-looking you.
When you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you radiate a confidence which is beautiful, and perfect for anyone, regardless of the age. It’s astonishing to consider all of the intricate ways in which exercise changes our bodies.
Here’s to your health!
Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.