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As we age, the expression “young at heart” goes far beyond an optimistic emotional outlook.
In fact, countless studies have shown that middle-aged men and women who stay physically fit and active not only will feel younger, but many ailments that plague this age bracket can be significantly reduced and sometimes avoided altogether. So, let’s take a look at three common conditions that can occur later in life and how exercise can help to greatly lessen their effects and in some cases, even temporarily reverse the aging process.
This painful inflammation of the joints can greatly hamper our daily activities and prevent us from enjoying much of the life around us. First, let’s not forget that those who exercise throughout their lives are much less prone to develop arthritis. Nonetheless, many aging individuals who take up a light form of activity such as jogging, stretching or light weight training may be able to counteract the effects of arthritis. This is primarily due to the fact that moderate exercise increases the functions of the circulatory system.
While this may seem rather obvious, we mustn’t forget that the joints of the body are areas of notoriously poor circulation as we age. By keeping active and fit, we can help restore any compromised circulation. This will increase blood flow to and from areas such as the knees, hips and fingers and can greatly reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
Otherwise known as “brittle bones”, middle-aged women are particularly prone to this ailment. The last thing we want is for the very framework of our bodies to suffer if it can be avoided. The interesting thing about bones is the fact that the more stress and activity they experience, the stronger they will become. Naturally, nutrition plays an important role in this condition, but exercise can also immensely help.
Not only will physical activity help the body absorb vital nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and vitamin D that the bones need to repair themselves, but this activity will also help bones maintain their density as we age. In fact, many doctors have seen notable differences in the strength of bones of sedentary individuals and those who exercise on a regular basis.
While conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis are common issues as we age, let’s not forget that a good deal of how we feel about ourselves is derived from your physical appearance. Those who feel young, look young and vice-versa. While there is no “magic pill” that can remove the last twenty years, staying fit and active will have a pronounced effect on our physical traits. A good portion of this effect has to do with increased circulation, as mentioned earlier.
Additionally, regular activity helps prevent the buildup of toxins in our bodies. Many of these toxins are stored near the surface of the skin. Exercise will not only remove these toxins but also help our skin maintain a supple, youthful appearance. It is for this reason that many athletes seem to age much slower than the rest of the population.
So, we are now beginning to see the miraculous effects that staying fit and active can have upon our bodies. This is no miracle, but instead simple chemistry and body mechanics. Although the fountain of youth has yet to be discovered, embracing a healthy and active lifestyle may very well be the next best thing!