The Miracle “Drug” for Graceful Aging: Exercise
What if you could do just one thing to boost your mood and energy, give you glowing skin and a slimmer body, and prevent chronic diseases? Well, there is… It’s exercise!
Exercise has many benefits, which help us look and feel our best at any age.
Research shows that regular exercise:
- Helps weight/fat loss
- Elevates energy and endurance
- Supports healthy skin and collagen production
- Boosts mood and memory
- Improves sleep (if you don’t exercise close to bedtime)
- Enhances sex drive
- Balances cortisol (our stress hormone)
- Strengthens bones and muscles (which helps prevent pain, injuries and certain diseases)
- Decreases risk for a number of chronic conditions such as heart disease, certain types of cancers, depression, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and arthritis
- Increases longevity
All of these benefits become even more important as we age. While some exercise perks are protective and help improve our quality of life (endurance, performance, memory, etc.), other advantages help us age beautifully.
When it comes to our skin, exercise increases blood flow, which provides nourishment for our skin cells. Good circulation floods our cells with nutrients and removes free radicals and toxins. This helps give us a healthy glow.
Also, regular moderate exercise keeps our cortisol (adrenal/stress hormone) balanced. This is particularly important since elevated cortisol can worsen chronic skin issues such as acne and eczema and increases the breakdown of collagen (which speeds wrinkles and sagging skin).
For the greatest benefits of exercise, it’s important to have a balance of cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and stretching. Cardiovascular exercise elevates our heart rate to effectively improve circulation, burn calories, drop fat, and enhance cardiovascular function. Strength training strengthens our muscles to improve our body composition and our day-to-day physical function and stability. Stretching is important to keep us flexible and prevent injuries. Balanced exercise leads to all the benefits listed above and helps prevent many debilitating chronic diseases associated with aging.
Choose exercises that fit your current state of health. If you are pregnant, have injuries or have any health condition that limits your ability to exercise, use caution. If necessary, talk to your healthcare provider to find a good workout that best suits your unique needs. You may want to stick with a nice brisk walk or some other activity that suits your current condition.
Whatever exercise you choose, find something that fits into your day, move your body, invest in your health and enjoy graceful aging and glowing skin.