As we get older, it is important to keep our body strong with regular exercise. Keeping your body moving is the closest thing to the fountain of youth that we have. Exercise should be paired with a healthy diet to provide the nutrients we need to support a healthy lifestyle.
According to Eat This, Not That!, researchers have concluded again and again that exercise is an essential aspect of healthy aging and can help prevent many chronic diseases and premature death.
A Norwegian study found that elderly men who exercised for 30 minutes daily, six days a week, reduced their risk of dying by 40%. For the study, researchers followed more than 5,000 healthy men for several decades starting when they were an average of 45 years of age, to see how exercise habits influence longevity, according to the Daily Mail.
But not all exercises are created equal. Besides performing at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity each week as recommend by the World Health Organization, people should include exercises that help build muscle strength and balance at least three times weekly.
Here are the best anti-aging workouts:
- Squats. Josh Schlottman, also known as “Trainer Josh,” says that squats build muscle in the legs and lower body. “For those over 60 with balance issues, hold on to the back of a chair for balance,” he tells Eat This, Not That! “Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your toes pointed straight ahead. Begin to lower your hips towards the floor by pushing them behind you like you’re gong to take a seat.”
- Free weights. It’s important for older people to use free weights or any other form of resistance training to maintain muscle mass. A study published in Preventive Medicine found that adults over the age of 65 who lift weights twice weekly have a whopping 46% lower all-cause mortality rate than those who don’t weight train. If you haven’t lifted weights before, it may be helpful to work with a trainer to get started safely.
- Walk. Experts at Harvard Medical School said that walking has been scientifically shown to reduce certain forms of cancer, fight obesity and ease joint pain. “It’s the closest thing we have to a wonder drug,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Studies have shown that brisk, consistent walking improves memory and helps preserve bone density.
- Lunges. According to Healthline, lunges are the perfect exercise for weight loss, balance, and stability, as well as functional alignment. Using free weights while doing lunges provides a double exercise whammy.
- Push-ups. This tried-and-true exercise standard has multiple health benefits for older adults. A study published in JAMA Network Open found that men who can perform 40 push-ups in 30 seconds are less likely to develop heart disease or suffer a heart attack or stroke, according to Eat This, Not That! Robert S. Herbst, a former champion power lifter, told Insider that push-ups improve your health by building muscle, raising your metabolism to burn fat, and providing a cardiovascular workout. “They enable you to get a full body workout with no equipment,” he said. Start by doing push-ups on your knees or against the wall until you build enough strength to do a full body push-up.
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