Did you know that your biological age can be different from your chronological age? Yes, stress, poor eating habits, and lack of regular exercise can all contribute to making you much older than you actually are. In fact, you may be having the body of a 50-year-old, when, in reality, you are just hitting your early 40s. That’s something to think about, isn’t it?
However, do not lose hope yet. The right physical workouts can help you regain the lost years and even reverse the aging process. To start with, here are five basic exercises that you can incorporate into your daily routine to keep your body and mind fit, young, and active. Do not forget to consult a doctor before you start any new exercise regimen.
- Resistance training
With every decade after the age of 30, you start losing at least five pounds of muscle mass. Medically, this natural muscle loss is known assarcopenia. As you lose muscle, you will start gaining body fat. Sarcopenia is also one of the first steps to many age-related problems such as arthritis and osteoporosis.
Studies show that the best way to stop this loss of muscle mass and strength is regular resistance training. Resistance exercises decrease levels of the myostatin, which is one of the major reasons for loss of muscle strength and mass, in the body. For the uninitiated, resistance training involves exercises with weights or using body weight.
- Brain workouts
As you age, communication between the two left and right sides of your brain starts slowing down, causing brain delays. Exercises that involve movements where you cross your legs or arms over the centerline of your body forces both sides of the brain to talk to each other, boosting the connection.
Jason Hope suggested activities like tennis or racquetball, both of which involve reaction training, are another way to keep your brain engaged. Or sign yourself up for some dance classes, Zumba or step dancing, all of which are activities that involve quick changes in direction.
Regular cardio workouts can compensate for the decrease in aerobic capacity with age. For optimum cardiovascular health, do at least 150 minutes of cardio every week. If time is a major factor, try interval training for short, but intense workouts. If you don’t like walking or running, head to the swimming pool. Swimming is another great cardio activity, which helps to build muscle, improve cardio respiratory fitness, and burn fat.
The ancient Hindu ascetics had it right. Practicing yoga regularly has several health benefits, including slowing down the aging process. Several signs of aging, such as decreased lung capacity, reduced circulation and flexibility, and deteriorating balance have all shown to improve with regular yoga. Yoga poses also makes your body stronger, reducing your chances of fractures with age.
- Step up
Last year, researchers with Oxford University revealed that you can reduce your risk of illness and death by nearly half if you increase the number of steps you take in a day to 10,000. And the good news is that all those steps needn’t be taken in a gym or a health club – just make minor lifestyle changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking to the neighborhood grocery store instead of driving.