Optimal Aging Through Fitness

I have recently spent time researching the value of fitness throughout one’s older years. It has become apparent that exercise is essential to living a healthier and happier life. Exercise has been found to be the most effective way to delay and also prevent the negative effects that are expected with aging while also positively impacting one’s health (Reuter, 2012). While there is no way to entirely beat death, it is important to know how to live in a manner that will reduce the risk of injury and also live comfortably. Every year after the age of fifty, there is a decline in muscle mass by 1-2% (Castillo-Garzon, Ruiz, Ortega, & Gutierrez, 2006). Preventing this decline is important to safety. Having strong muscle tone is another way to prevent dying as it lowers the risk of falling (Reuter, 2012). Clearly, maintaining muscle tone is a key factor to living both a stronger and safer life.

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An easy way to maintain strong muscle mass and exercising at an older age is to be involved with sports.  Unfortunately, many middle-age adults give up sports and leisure activities because of a demanding job or other family obligations (Castillo-Garzon, Ruiz, Ortega, & Gutierrez, 2006).  Trying to still find time for leisure activities and hobbies directly correlates to physical capabilities as people age. This is imperative to note as we continue to develop, grow, and ultimately age as well. Physical activity is also directly correlated to the health of the brain.  Elderly people who exercise have lower chances of being diagnosed with dementia (2006).  These findings are able to have a huge impact on aging generations by educating everyone to help make a positive change. In a recent study, it was found that exercise was linked to having more White Matter in temporal regions of the brain that are more likely to be affected by age-related changes (Burzynska, Kramer, Knecht, Olson, Gothe, Wong, et al. 2014).  Increasing physical activity is excellent for all ages, but must not diminish in the elder years.

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All research strongly recommended increasing daily physical activity. This included aerobic exercises like walking. Dynamic exercise that mimics every day activities was also suggested to improve physical well-being. Staying active is a common theme found in media with the growing amounts of people who suffer from obesity. Exercise however, should never stop once at a healthy weight or when one gets older. Physical activity completed on a daily basis can ensure a healthy, happy, and long life.

I now know I plan to stay active as a senior citizen, do you?

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