The many benefits of exercise are well-documented. Regular exercise can reduce your risk of major illnesses, help you to maintain a healthy weight and may even reduce your risk of depression. For the ageing man or woman, there’s one more benefit to add to the list: it can make you look and feel younger!
It Gives You More Energy
While you might imagine it to have the opposite effect, exercise actually boosts your energy levels.
“Exercise puts your body in a state of arousal, which translates to more vitality and a greater sense of wellbeing,” says Dr Frank Frisch, director of kinesiology at Chapman University in California. He adds that regular exercise makes everyday tasks feel less strenuous and require less exertion.
It Improves Your Posture
As you age, muscle loss and bone density changes have a noticeable effect on your posture, but exercise can somewhat counter this. Strength training builds muscle and bone health in your core and along your spine, allowing you to stand taller and avoid that aged slouch.
It Improves Your Flexibility
Muscles and joints stiffen with age, but exercise can help to give you back a little more youthful flexibility. Stretch-orientated activities are particularly good for this, such as yoga and Pilates.
It Makes Your Skin Glow
A study at McMaster University in Ontario showed that over-40s who were frequent exercisers had the more supple, elastic skin of slightly younger people. While more research is needed to understand how exercise has this impact, the apparent anti-ageing effect on the complexion is a convincing reason to get more active.
It Boosts Your Metabolism
Your metabolism may have slowed down since your younger days, but exercise can help to keep it high. Regular workout sessions will increase the total number of calories your body burns, making it easier for you to maintain a healthy weight.
It Boosts Your Sex Drive
Research has shown that the improved blood flow caused by exercise can make you feel more responsive and increase arousal. The positive effects of working out on your body can also give you a good psychological boost, making you feel more confident in the bedroom.
If you’re keen to slow down the ageing process, exercise is one of the best methods you can use. As well as offering a host of health benefits, it will make you feel like you’re sweating off a few years. Try adding a regular run to your routine, or joining a gym or exercise group to make working out a more fun, sociable activity.