We all hope to have what we need when we get older. The primary focus for most is money. It is, of course, the power to get the necessities and luxuries. And while having lots of money certainly gives you more choices regarding cures and treatments, in the end, it’s not a substitute for good health.
But in a way, it’s good to have a similar mindset regarding both: setting aside reserves for the future benefits fiscally and physically.
But how does exercising now effect my future health?
I’m glad you asked!
Like saving money, having reserves on hand makes sense. In the case of your body, aging changes organ capabilities resulting in diminishing capacities. For instance, as your bones lose mass, their capacity of bearing weight and withstanding trauma is compromised. As you grow older, the amount of oxygen that the alveoli can transfer from the blood diminishes as the proportion of dead space in the lungs increases. This is taking place at the molecular level and is inevitable. In addition, the act of breathing itself is a function of the muscles and bones of the breathing apparatus moving in concert to accomplish the flow of air into and out of the lungs. As these muscles and bones lose strength and flexibility, the amount of air that is processed declines.
You can think of other bodily functions that suffer from diminishing capacities as aging progresses, but let’s focus on these two as we develop our simile.
Fact: You can increase the density of your bones by stressing them. A German surgeon, Julius Wolff, gave us this insight in the 19th century. The opposite, he noted, is also true; that lack of stress causes atrophy.
See the connection to saving for the future?
Knowing that aging brings bone loss naturally, if you enter your Senior years with stronger bones to begin with, the effects of diminishing capacity will be less catastrophic. There is no better activity for building bone mass than resistance exercising. In addition, you can certainly slow the effects of aging by continuing your healthy habits.
In the same way, your ability to effectively process oxygen – – your aerobic capacity, can be increased through consistent aerobic exercise. Here again, aging takes a toll which can be mitigated by increasing your capacities before and during Seniorhood.
There are numerous other benefits to exercising that make it absolutely your smartest investment, both short and long term!
Whatever your conclusion from the above, it’s never too late to start, but of course, sooner is always better than later!
Go Do It Now,
The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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