A Well-Rounded Exercise Program is Your Fountain of Youth
Someone may have told you that exercise is going to wear the body down sooner, leading to many ill effects. Absolutely, you know that this is just a myth. Exercise, in fact, can minimize or delay many effects of aging.
Orthopaedic surgeon Bryan G Vopat MD says that actually “a lot of the deterioration we see with aging can be attributed to a more sedentary lifestyle instead of aging itself.” As the author of a new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Dr. Vopat finds that a comprehensive daily exercise program helps minimize bone and joint health decline and maintains overall physical health.
Yes, some exercise routines have a little risk involved, such as injuries. But this is minor in the greater scheme of things, as regular exercise maintains bone density, muscle mass, ligament and tendon function and cartilage volume – all of which are key to optimal physical function and health.
However, one trap many of us fall into is only doing one type of exercise. It takes a combination of four factors to create the perfect regimen for maintaining health. These are resistance, endurance, flexibility, and balance training.
Resistance Training: Prolonged, intense resistance training can increase muscle strength, lean muscle and bone mass more consistently than aerobic exercise alone. Sustained lower and upper body resistance training bolsters bone density and reduces the risk of strains, sprains, and acute fractures.
Endurance Training: Moderately intensive aerobic training promotes heart health, increases oxygen consumption and has been linked to less accumulated fat mass, maintenance of muscle strength and cartilage volume. A minimum of 150 to 300 minutes a week of endurance training is recommended.
Flexibility and balance: Flexibility exercises are strongly recommended for active older adults to maintain range of motion, optimize performance and limit injury. Two days a week or more is recommended. Also remember to include exercises that help maintain balance, such as yoga.
B. G. Vopat, S. A. Klinge, P. K. McClure, P. D. Fadale. The Effects of Fitness on the Aging Process. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2014; 22 (9): 576 DOI: 10.5435/JAAOS-22-09-576