As if you didn’t need any more reasons to hop on a treadmill, a new study suggests that exercising can help prevent skeletal muscle deterioration, which is when muscles begin to break down due to atrophy. The study suggests that regular exercise combined with protein consumption will help preserve muscle integrity into advanced years, which is fantastic news if you want to walk without a cane in your senior years.
There are plenty of other benefits to exercise aside from just providing a lifetime of good health. By working out your body, you can also improve the overall quality of life. Some of the benefits of exercise include:
- Happier outlook on life: That pump you get from the gym will stay with you long after your workout ends. In fact, exercise can help you battle depression. The study revealed that those people who exercised show a significant reduction in depressive symptoms, especially in people over the age of 60.
- Increased brain function: Who says you can’t be a jock and a bookworm at the same time? In fact the opposite is true, as working out actually helps your mind function. A study showed that people who exercise experience a moderate increase in their heart rates and the the activity in their brains. Furthermore, the people who participated in the study reported reduced anxiety and solved basic math problems with increased speed and accuracy after the workout.
- A better night’s sleep: Did you know that 50 percent of older Americans complain of suffering from sleep problems? While “early to bed, early to rise” is usually associated with the motto of the elderly, exercise may help too. The study suggests that regular physical activity may increase the quality of sleep for older adults with insomnia. In fact, seniors who worked out just a few times a week averaged more than an hour of extra sleep per night.
Exercise doesn’t need to be strenuous, you’ll likely stick with it if it’s actually fun. Walks in the park, bike rides on sunny days, a dip in the pool and yoga can be fun and healthy experiences.