October - Exercise and Healthy Aging

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October - Exercise and Healthy Aging

Quick Summary

  • In the natural aging process, there are multiple significant changes that our bodies undergo. That might sound scary, but with exercise, we can slow this process down. 


Aerobic Activity 

  • Type: Moderate, 50% - 70% of Max Heart Rate (220bpm – Age) 

  • Amount: 150 - 300 minutes per week (2.5 - 5 hours) 

  • Feels Like: increased breathing, can still talk, sweating after about 10 minutes (brisk walk) 

Resistance Training 

  • Type: 8-10 exercises including all muscle groups 

  • Amount: one or more sets of 8-12 repetitions 2x per week 

  • Load: inversely proportional to reps, start out easy & don’t overload your body  

  • Proper Form: following exercise demonstrations 

How does exercise support healthy aging?  

Cardiovascular health is prolonged with regular aerobic activity. Even though the blood vessels may harden as we age, aerobic activity can increase the strength of the heart muscle as well as stimulate the growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis). This makes your vascular system more efficient overall, and can contribute to reductions in heart rate and blood pressure.  

Structural strength will remain more intact as we age with regular resistance training. Loading the body with external resistance stimulates your bones to retain their density. Some muscle mass loss (sarcopenia) is inevitable as we age, but resistance training also slows this process by stimulating muscle cells to stick around for the long haul, or even to get stronger than before. 

Other benefits of exercise include improvements in cognition, resting heart rate, digestion, stress hormones, triglycerides, body composition, and blood glucose regulation. 

Keys to Success; Lifelong Exercise 

1. Hydrate well before, during and after movement 

2. Engage in aerobic exercises that elevate your heart rate 

3. Engage in resistance exercises at an appropriate level for current strength 

4. Make sure to adequately warm-up before and cool-down after activity 

5. Remember that all movement counts towards a healthy life and aging well! 

Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program. 

“Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate.” –Matt Bonelli 

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