If your goal is to live to 100, but still feel younger, few things will help you get there more than anti-aging fitness.
First, it’s important to understand that anti-aging fitness is not the same as anti-aging exercise. Fitness refers to one’s ability to perform exercise—the more exercise you do, the more your fitness level will increase. If a person is physically fit, that means that every part of their body (skeletal structure, cardiovascular system, etc.) is operating at a normal, if not better, capacity. Therefore, anti-aging fitness is about incorporating both exercises and lifestyle changes that are aimed at improving the way your body functions.
Anti-aging fitness is vital in order to feel younger and live to 100 because a person’s fitness level is often an indication of their life expectancy. If you’re not physically fit, your body isn’t functioning as well as it should or could be, making you more susceptible to injuries and illnesses. In fact, anti-aging fitness is so important for your health as you get older that it’s believed improving your physical fitness can decrease the risk of death by as much as 44%. In addition, studies have shown that enhancing physical fitness improves one’s self-esteem and self image and decreases depression—these are all contributing factors to stress as you age, and stress can be detrimental for older adults. Mental health is just as important as physical health if you plan to live to 100.
While exercise isn’t the only component of anti-aging fitness, it’s still a major one, because exercise can improve fitness in several ways. Aerobic training, such as walking or light jogging, can improve cardiovascular health, boost your metabolic systems, and reduce body fat—a must if you want to look younger, feel younger, and live to 100. Regular aerobic exercise over three to six months can actually improve your aerobic capacity (how much oxygen your body uses during intense exercise) by up to 30%—in other words, it improves your fitness level by up to 30%.
Physical exercise as part of your anti-aging fitness can improve the strength of your muscles and skeletal structure, but also plays a huge role in your ability to live to 100, because even as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day has been found to lengthen telomeres, the part of DNA that influences aging—shorter telomeres have been linked to premature aging, age-related illnesses, and even a reduced lifespan.
A lack of anti-aging fitness in your life, especially when there’s no exercise at all, only serves to speed up the aging process, significantly cutting your chances of ever being able to live to 100. The real key to successful anti-aging fitness and being able to live to 100 is to supplement your anti-aging fitness plan with a healthy diet and lifestyle. That includes nixing bad habits like smoking and feasting on fast food. It’s also important to be aware of what your body can and can’t do when it comes to anti-aging fitness. It’s easy to injure yourself if you’re exercising incorrectly or are pushing your body to take on an anti-aging fitness plan that it just isn’t ready to handle. You can always improve your fitness level over time, but forcing it will only set you back.
Castillo-Garzón, M.J., et al., “Anti-aging therapy through fitness enhancement,” Clinical Interventions in Aging 2006; 1(3): 213–220.
“The Effects of Stress on Your Body,” WebMD web site; http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/effects-of-stress-on-your-body, last accessed January 8, 2014.
Yeager, S., “The Years-Off Workout,” Prevention web site, November 2011; http://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/erase-years-anti-aging-workout.