Here’s the amazing truth: Nearly three out of four American adults do not receive the recommended amount of physical activity according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even more sobering: Many adults do nothing at all except what they need to do all day long. And as we grow older and stop moving. About 23 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 44 sit down. For those aged 65 and over it is around 32 percent.
While you may be aware that prolonged inactivity weakens your bones and muscles you may not realize it can damage your heart and brain as well. This raises your chances of dementia and heart disease among other things and can lead to premature death.
However, studies show that exercise can help keep these organs healthy and slow down or even prevent their weight loss. And if you often sweat over a certain age? Everything is better.
You really need to think about ways to keep going, says Kevin Bohnsack MD, a family medicine doctor at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System in Ann Arbor Michigan. Everything that enhances your overall performance can prevent you from living that extravagant lifestyle — as well as the heart and mental problems that can come with it.
How exercise can benefit the heart.
As you progress toward adulthood, your heart is slowly beginning to weaken. Its walls are strong and flexible, and your blood vessels are strong. This raises your risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension) and other heart problems including heart disease and heart failure. And if you sit down, the risk is much higher.
When you exercise your heart beats faster and increases blood flow and gives your body the oxygen it needs. The more you work, the stronger your heart becomes and the stronger your blood vessels become. This helps you to keep your blood pressure low and your chances of having multiple heart problems.
Exercise with exercise – also called cardio – is what it really is. Studies suggest that moderate or vigorous cardio training can be very helpful even though any physical activity promotes good heart health. It could be anything from running and cycling, says Dr. Bohnsack. Anything that creates that heartbeat.
Good posture benefits your heart in other ways as well to help reduce the risk factors associated with heart disease. Exercise is associated with:
• Reduction of inflammation
• Maintaining a healthy weight and preventing obesity
And while more studies are needed, research shows that regular physical activity can improve your heart health, regardless of age. An example in one small study published in March 2018 in the journal Circulation 28 middle-aged men completed two years of strenuous exercise. Compared with the control group, scientists found that exercise reduced their heart rate and increased their body-to-air energy, both of which could reduce their risk of heart failure.
In another study published in the August 2018 issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers provided heart and movement sensations to 1600 British volunteers between the ages of 60 and 64. Five days later they found that very active people had fewer symptoms of heart disease in their blood. Not too dirty boomers.
How exercise can benefit the brain
What is good for your heart is usually good for your mind – and research shows that regular sweating can increase brain health in a number of ways.
Exercise is first tied to improved comprehension that includes better memory care and higher performance — things like controlling emotions and completing tasks. It can increase the speed at which you process and respond to information and your ability to access your previous knowledge and experience.
Physical gain is linked to a decrease in age-related cognitive impairment as we gradually lose the ability to focus on thinking and memory skills. In other words, Bohnsack if you like where you are it is a good idea to continue with exercise because that can help you ultimately maintain your current mental functioning.
And while the judge is still on the verge of improving exercise symptoms it can help prevent or delay dementia including Alzheimer’s disease. For example, one 2017 review in The Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences found that the activity was associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s down the line. The link was more powerful for people who deliberately exercised during their leisure time than those with active activities. These suggesting psychological benefits may depend on your chosen career in addition to the time you put in.
How does exercise do all of this? Scientists are not entirely sure. Its notion that performance enhances blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain helps it to function more efficiently. Some studies suggest that it inhibits the contraction of the hippocampus – an important part of the brain that learns and remembers things. Experts also believe that it stimulates chemical reactions in the brain that may contribute to better understanding.
Ultimately exercise can help lower your chances of developing other conditions associated with dementia including cardiovascular disease.
When to start?
It doesn’t matter how old we are or how much we gain by exercising. There is evidence that doing strenuous exercise in life is of great benefit, says Bohnsack, but it is never too late to get started because everyone benefits from some form of physical activity.
In addition to its rewards for heart and brain function:
• Increases your emotions and energy
• Helps prevent injury
• Reduces the risk of other age-related diseases such as arthritis
• It helps you stay independent
Government exercise guidelines recommend that adults shoot 150 minutes or more of moderate size or 75 minutes of weekly aerobic activity. Worthy