Signs of Aging You Can Avoid by Exercising Regularly

Thursday, September 20, 2007 - 4:36pm

By Michele Silence, MA

How many times have you heard someone say, "I can't move like I used to...guess that's just what happens when you get old" or "My body seems to ache everywhere: Must be I'm just getting old"? Many people mistaken the symptoms associated with inactivity for signs of aging. Pinning the "blame" on chronological age is the manifestation of a largely ageist society. Getting older is inevitable, but that does not mean we are doomed to look and feel "old." Here are five things you can ward off if you stay physically active and fit.

1. Improve your posture through exercise

Which look is more appealing to you? Walking stiffly hunched over a cane or standing upright and walking briskly ? Contrary to stereotypes of elderly people, growing old does not necessarily lead to being decrepit. Think of Jack LaLanne. He is over ninety years old now, and he is not even close to being ready to grab a cane (except, perhaps, as an exercise tool).

2. Chronic pain can be alleviated by muscle exercise

The majority of back pain and other chronic conditions associated with aging can be alleviated by strengthening and stretching muscles. Muscles can be extremely painful and debilitating when in spasm. Exercise them regularly and keep them flexible and even pain that has been there for years may gradually subside and go away.

3. Exercise can improve sagging skin

Skin that sweats frequently from exercise looks better than skin that does not flush water through it regularly. Developing muscle under the skin can take up the slack and make your entire body look tighter and more toned. Especially since muscle wasting is so drastic in later years.

4. Becoming bound to a wheelchair maybe avoided/delayed

Losing the ability to walk and move about freely can be one of the most difficult things to deal with as the years go by. It means a loss of independence and can affect self-esteem and self-worth. If you only stay active so that you can be mobile , you will live out your later years happier and more confident.

5. Escaping diseases associated with aging can be prevented by being active

Heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, and lung disease can be curtailed by exercising regularly and eating healthy. If you don't like the image of yourself lying in a hospital bed, helpless and ill, start moving now and do what you can to avoid it. Most of these diseases are preventable if steps are taken early enough.

Growing old does not have to mean getting feeble. Having time, money, and the ability to do the things you've always wanted to do in life should now be possible. Even if you have never exercised before, start now and reap the benefits. You will be able to grow old more gracefully and happily.

For more information on exercise for those with arthritis see the following article from TheDietChannel: Health and Fitness for Arthritis Sufferers.

For further information on the benefits of exercise for seniors see: Senior Fitness.