If you want to slow the aging process, this article will show you the best and worst exercises for aging.
Exercise is supposed to keep us young and slow down aging. But some exercises do more harm than good. Yes, the exercises you’re doing may be aging you faster.
Even though these exercises may not literally add wrinkles to your face (some might), they cause muscle loss, knee and back pain, and poor posture which in turn make you look older than you actually are.
Please understand that I’m not saying these exercises are bad. I’m simply saying they are not good for people over age 35. Men and women in their 20s can perform them without a problem. But as you know, our bodies experience a lot of physiological changes after 35. So you have to start training differently.
Later, I’ll show you the best exercises for aging. But first, let’s look into the exercises that age you faster.
Worst exercises for aging
Are you a cardio addict? Well, I have bad news for you. Running on the treadmill for hours every day can speed up aging. Excessive cardio puts stress on the body. Consequently, this raises cortisol levels and may lead to muscle loss, research shows. Muscle loss in return slows metabolism which causes weight gain and faster aging
Too much cardio can also cause an overuse injury. This is a joint or muscle injury caused by repetitive movement. You’ll find that 65 percent of cyclists suffer knee pain due to repetitive trauma. Injuries contribute to fast aging since they weaken the body and limit movement.
Should you quit cardio?
No. Cardio actually speeds recovery and promotes fat loss. But it’s more rewarding when done in moderation. Limit your cardio workouts to 30-45 minutes, a maximum of 4 days a week.
Hardcore exercises aren’t going to keep you young. Remember that our bones weaken as we age. Doing Crossfit can actually cause fractures and other serious injuries.
Realize that extreme exercises do more harm than good. So avoid box jumps, powerlifting, and other intense exercises.
Are you surprised to see crunches on this list? Well, you’re not alone. Most think doing crunches is the secret to a flat belly and ripped six pack abs.
Crunches may strengthen your core but they stress the spine. In fact, most people who perform many sit-ups and crunches complain of neck and back pain. I may also note that these exercises can cause poor posture for people who don’t do full body workouts. The plank is a more effective ab exercise.
The question of whether leg extensions are good or bad has been debated for years. And the arguments show that the risks outweigh the benefits.
Leg extensions can cause knee pain because they create muscle imbalance between the quadriceps and hamstrings.
Now that you know the exercises to avoid as you grow older. Let’s look into the best exercises for aging. But first, let me answer this question…
Does exercise slow the aging process?
Yes! Research shows that increased physical activity can slow the aging process of our cells. But researchers say that exercise can only slow biological aging when done regularly. Men should exercise for 40 minutes five days week and women 30 minutes five times a week.
Exercise also helps retain muscle mass. According to Harvard health, after 30, men start to lose 3 to 5 percent muscle mass per decade. This results in slower metabolism, weakness, fat gain, less mobility, and faster aging.
Don’t be discouraged if you’ve already started losing muscle. Strength training can help increase muscle mass in older men and women.
Testosterone levels also start to drop by 1 percent a year in our mid-30s. This results in faster aging, low libido, skin wrinkling and low energy. Again, exercise can come to our rescue. Many studies show that exercise boosts testosterone levels.
As you can see, exercise has many age-slowing benefits. Now, let’s see best exercises for slow aging.
Best exercises to reverse aging
Strength training will prevent muscle loss and even rebuild lost muscle mass. Bodyweight exercises and lifting weights are both effective strength training methods.
Your workouts have to be challenging. For your muscles to grow you have to push yourself near muscular failure. Do challenging exercises, but not too challenging that they’ll cause injury. Stick to exercises you can perform 7 to 10 reps. And Keep progressing to more challenging exercises as you get stronger.
Don’t forget to train the big muscle groups (legs, back, arms, shoulders) since they increase muscle mass fast.
I may also note that strength training will strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis and other bone conditions. Three 30-minute workouts a week will give you all these benefits.
According to a Taiwan study, tai chi can slow aging because it increases the number of cells that promote anti-aging effects. It may also prompt vasodilation and increase blood flow. The study compared the anti-aging benefits of tai chi and brisk walking. It concluded tai chi was a better anti-aging exercise.
We lose balance as we age. Tai chi can improve your balance and prevent falls. A quick search on youtube will show you basic tai chi moves.
Full body stretches
Stiff and tight muscles age you fast. Plus, lack of flexibility will make you prone to injuries and ruin your posture. Do full body stretches to improve your flexibility.
Remember to warm up before doing static stretches. Stretching cold muscles can strain the muscles or ligaments.
Researchers say that walking can repair old DNA and reverse aging. This study concluded that walking has anti-aging benefits and could extend your life for up to seven years. The best part is you don’t have to walk for miles to get these benefits. A 20-minute daily walk is all you need.
I bet you’ll be more motivated to walk daily once you see the 20 benefits of walking.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
In a study conducted by Mayo Clinic, researchers found that HIIT slows aging on a cellular level. High-intensity exercises such as hill sprints involve intense aerobic bursts followed by short, active recovery periods.
Dr. Nair backed this study saying “there’s no substitute for these exercise programs when it comes to delaying the aging process. These things we are seeing cannot be done by any medicine”.
Don’t start doing HIIT right away if you’re out of shape. Improve your fitness with less intense exercises like jumping jacks.
Strengthening your core will help stabilize your spine. A strong core will also improve your posture. Here are isometric core exercises you can start doing today.
Knee strengthening exercises
Knee pain can limit mobility and prevent you from doing most of the exercises mentioned above. So add these knee strengthening exercises to your routine.
When done properly, exercise can turn back your biological clock. The good news is that most exercises are good for you. Just avoid exercises that stress your body.
Diet also helps a great deal in slowing down aging. So make sure your diet is on point. Eat nutrient-dense foods and avoid processed foods.
Which do you think is the worst exercise for aging?[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]