Aging. What exactly does this word mean to you? Do you feel your age? Sure you have a birthday each year but does that number really represent how many years young you feel?
From research, we know that age certainly does influence all of your body processes. Such changes include (but are not limited to) impaired circulation, increased blood vessel stiffness, increased blood pressure, decreased muscle mass, increased joint and connective tissue stiffness, reduced bone density, decreased metabolism and increased fat accumulation. But despite all that can happen with age, why is it that some people deteriorate in their 20's while others are active well into their 70's and beyond?
As science progresses, our understanding of the mechanisms of aging is beginning to expand. Yes, the impact of age on your physiology is true but you do, to a certain extent, have a say in how you age. While you cannot halt the aging process (and there will certainly be factors beyond your control such accidents & certain diseases) you can influence your quality of life. Both exercise and nutrition have been proven to be important factors in maximizing your health as you age. Through research we now know that physical activity has many significant effects on many of your biological activities all the way down to the cellular level. In fact, in some cases it can almost make time stand still.
With regular aerobic "cardio" exercise, you can increase your circulation, improve your blood vessel elasticity, decrease your blood pressure, increase your bone density (if you activity is weight bearing), increase your metabolism and decrease your fat accumulation. By choosing a life with regular strengthening exercises (i.e. Pilates) you can maintain & increase your muscle mass, increase your circulation, improve your flexibility, increase your metabolism and decrease your fat accumulation. In addition, by choosing a life with regular exercise training you will lower your risk for cardiovascular disease, obesity, type II diabetes, depression and will enjoy youthfully aging.