Healthy Aging ~ Exercise

As an aging woman there are so many reasons to get fit, stay fit and get all kinds of exercise. I have borderline high cholesterol and potential for heart disease, so I eat a low fat diet, and do regular work-outs incorporating aerobics. But I also include weight training, yoga and stretching in my exercise routine to fight the other lesser known side-effects of aging.

  1. Heart disease is the #1 killer of american women over 25 (it kills more women than cancer, COPD, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and accidents combined). You can vastly reduce the risk of heart disease by doing aerobic exercise 3-7 times a week.
  2. Women’s muscle mass and bone density peak in our early 30s, stay stable until our late 40s, and then rapidly decline after menopause (average age 54). The  best way to combat both is with weight bearing exercise.
  3. Exercise releases endorphins (a chemical produced by the body) which are proven to reduce stress, ward off depression and anxiety, boost self-esteem, and improve sleep.
  4. Aerobic exercise like walking on a treadmill can lower blood pressure and decrease risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.
  5. A sedentary lifestyle and inactivity contribute to joint stiffness. You need strong muscles around your joints to stabilize them and take off some of the pressure from daily activities like walking and going down stairs. Workouts like yoga can help increase joint flexibility.
  6. Want to look better in your clothes and enjoy shopping again? Reduce fat and increase muscle definition with weight bearing exercise so you look better in your clothes

It’s never too late to start incorporating exercise into your life, and even the smallest change can make a big difference. So, start small and work up gradually. The benefits you gain will increase your ability to enjoy life… longer!

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