As we get older it’s easy to become a bit complacent when it comes to exercise but this could be detrimental to both our physical and mental well being. There have been many recent studies showing just how we can help improve our cognitive health and heart health, possibly delaying or even preventing dementia and helping to prevent cardiovascular disease. In fact the results from a recent Swedish study actually suggested that a woman is 5 times less likely to get dementia if she continues to exercise and keep fit.
Improved cognitive function in the over 50's
Another recent study by British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that “Physical exercise improved cognitive function in the over 50's, regardless of the cognitive status of participants. To improve cognitive function, this meta-analysis provides clinicians with evidence to recommend that patients obtain both aerobic and resistance exercise of at least moderate intensity on as many days of the week as feasible, in line with current exercise guidelines.”
Science Direct recently conducted a study specifically targeting women over 50, recommended that as well as aiming for 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise 3 days a week “women may benefit from participating in group-based fitness classes…” The social aspect of any fitness class is a great motivator and you are much more likely to continue to exercise in the long term.
What are the benefits of regular exercise?
To have any positive effect, exercise needs to be regular and raise your heart rate. It’s well known that exercise gives us a natural high as it releases dopamine (a chemical that may actually decline as we age) so we feel great after a workout. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious then a bit of exercise can be a great tonic.
If you go to an exercise class you have the added benefit of meeting up with like minded people, motivating each other to continue to work out and making new friends in the process.
It’s also believed that cardiovascular exercise can help improve the look and feel of your skin, who doesn’t want to feel and look a few years younger?!
Regular physical activity can also help reduce the risk of heart failure in post menopausal women. Women in this age group are at a higher risk of heart failure, possibly due to the decline of eostrogen, so it’s vital that we take make sure we’re doing all we can to keep our hearts healthy.
Look and feel amazing...
As a number of studies have shown, regular exercise can also help reduce the likelihood of developing dementia. As we age our cognitive health can decline but if we keep healthy and ensure we undertake moderate physical activity, including resistance training, as often as we can.
There are so many known benefits to continuing or maybe even starting to exercise as we age. As more studies are conducted we will probably learn of even more reasons we should be looking after our overall health by exercising. So, if you want to help yourself to look and feel amazing you just need to find your trainers and get moving!