5 tips for starting an exercise routine, and why

October 2, 2015

Your physical strength and health aren't bottoming out because you're getting older. You're probably just not getting enough exercise. Here's some tips on how to stay active as you get older.

5 tips for starting an exercise routine, and why

1. Muscle mass helps your whole body

The amount of muscle you have affects nearly every function in your body. Here's just a few:

  • Maintain good muscle tone, and you'll probably gain less weight, have a lower percentage of body fat, and prevent insulin resistance.
  • Your LDL cholesterol and blood sugar levels will be lower, and your HDL cholesterol levels will be higher.
  • You'll also avoid constipation, keep your blood thin and moving smoothly through veins and arteries, improve your sleep, and reduce your risk of depression and memory lapses.

2. It doesn't take much

  • With just a few weeks of regular, moderate to high intensity physical activity each day, almost every health measure is likely to improve. No matter what your age.
  • Even doing something like regular weights can increase your strength and improve your walking speeds.

3. Regular routines are key

  • Fitness benefits are greater if you've maintained an exercise program throughout your life.
  • One study found that people who took long swims three to five times a week delayed their natural physical decline by decades.
  • Another study found that men between the ages of 60 and 75 could increase their strength with basic weight-training exercises twice a week for 16 weeks.
  • That study also revealed these men could increase their strength at the same rate as men in their twenties.
  • By the end of the study, they also had lower LDL and higher HDL cholesterol levels. All in just four months.

4. Increase your individual sessions

  • The more time the older people spend being active, the lower their risk of dying.
  • For every extra hour a week spent being active, your risk of becoming disabled can drop by seven percent.
  • In one study, those who spent 2 1/4 hours a week being physically active were nearly one-fourth less likely to die during the 2 1/2-year study.
  • When the physical activity was upped to seven hours a week, their risk of dying during the study plummeted 57 percent.

5. Exercise packs on years, not just muscle

  • Exercise adds life to your years and improves your quality of life. After all, it's better to be active at 90 than in a nursing home by 60.
  • Working adults spend little to none of their time exerting their bodies.
  • In the United States, 65 percent of US adults ages 45 to 64 don't even get 10 minutes a week of vigorous leisure-time physical activity. That number increases with age.
  • Middle-aged adults are shaping up to be the first generation in modern history that will be less healthy in their older years than the generation before.

Don't let yourself be lumped into an inactive lifestyle. Push yourself out of that easy chair and vow that today begins the rest of your life. Because with the right exercise, it will.

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