With age comes experience, (hopefully) patience, and inevitable health challenges over the years. Physical activity can play a HUGE part in determining how much these challenges affect your quality of life.
Staying active can help prevent or maintain common age-related issues such as Sarcopenia (muscle loss) and Osteoporosis (the deterioration of bone tissue). Keeping conditions like these in check can help ensure a person is able to maintain their independence, which can help support good mental health.
Exercise releases endorphins (feel good hormones) that contribute to the maintenance of mental health while also providing an opportunity to engage socially and feel like part of a community. The ability to interact in combination with consistent activity can help retain and improve cognitive and motor skills.
It would be ideal if everyone ate nutrient dense food and began maintaining healthy levels of activity beginning in childhood, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, the lack of a healthy lifestyle can induce serious ailments such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Dr. Stephen Kopecky, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, says, “…about 85%-90% of where our diseases come from is our lifestyle.” There’s no arguing the severity of these issues, as they can be permanent. But a lifestyle change that includes an improvement in nutrition and an increase in activity can, in some cases, maintain or even reverse these conditions. Dr. Kopecky goes on to state, “…there are so many good benefits to lifestyle in addition to just helping your heart…a lot of good things can happen.”
Having a consistently active lifestyle (in addition to nutritious food!) won’t only prolong your life but more importantly will improve the QUALITY of your life.