Turns out, one of the best decisions I ever made was to do a complete 180 on my health. I remember so well how sluggish and old I felt in my early 40s. It wasn’t even on my radar to exercise to feel younger. I didn’t realize the benefits of exercise at all, or I would like to think I would have started a lot sooner. My reason for starting to exercise was to have the endurance to ride again after taking 20 years away from horses to raise a family.
The benefits of regular exercise far outweigh any excuse I would have had for the past 25+ years.
After my hysterectomy and taking care of my terminally ill husband, that led to emotional eating, my weight had escalated to over any pregnancy weight I ever had. For a while, I believed this new body was all part of the new club I was in…the middle-aged my children were almost grown and I didn’t know who I was anymore club. Are you in that club now?
Well, lemme tell you, you don’t have to be in that club if you don’t want to be!
And better yet…there are plenty of reasons NOT to be in the overweight middle-aged club!
15 Benefits of Exercise for Better Health Over 40
Can we agree this is totally awesome to even imagine? The fact that we not only will feel younger with regular exercise but that scientific studies actually show health benefits of regular exercise include reverse aging is truly a blessing.
Not quite the same benefit as reverse aging – although at first glance you may think it is. Looking younger with regular exercise is a combination of several benefits of exercise and is truly a bonus.
Looking younger is part of the lean muscle, weight loss, balanced hormones to name a few that contribute to looking younger. You will have more pep in your step and more energy after regular exercise.
Pep in Your Step
Yes! Want to walk from your car into the mall without feeling like you need to sit down to rest? This is one of the benefits of exercise you can count on. Walking while shopping or even trying to keep up with young kids is so much easier once exercise is part of your routine.
Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario studied a small group of adults between ages 20 and 84. Those who were over 40 and regular exercisers had skin that as supple and elastic as those in their 20s and 30s.
Exercising strengthens core muscles that encompass the spine. A strong back helps sitting and standing upright much easier for a posture even your mother would be proud of.
Exercising keeps your muscles and joints less stiff and more mobile rather than the stiffness many people experience later in years. No matter which type of exercise you regularly do, warming up and cooling down can be very beneficial.
Exercise Boosts Your Mood
Exercise releases endorphins into your body that create a happier mood. Exercise is also such an accomplishment, it is great for self-confidence.
Research has shown 150 minutes of exercise a week helps to improve sleep quality by 65%. Personally, I think exercising provides our bodies with an outlet for releasing stress and therefore promotes a more restful sleep.
Exercising regularly helps to build and tone muscles. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns all day. You’ll need to make sure to add in some resistance training to tone and build muscles.
Getting Rid of Belly Fat
The dreadful belly fat that so many women over 40 complain about. Regular exercise will decrease belly fat if nutrition is also being monitored and tracked.
Exercise Improves Memory
A British Journal of Sports Medicine posted an article in 2014 where researchers found that aerobic exercise increased the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is responsible for memory.
Exercise Improves Heart Health
Not a surprise here that exercise helps improve cardio health. Regular exercise benefits include lowering blood pressure and lowering triglycerides in the blood that can clog arteries if levels are too high. Regular exercise can also raise HDL, the good cholesterol in the blood that protects the heart from cardiovascular disease.
Regular Exercise Prevents Osteoporosis
Weight-bearing exercises or strength training exercises strengthens bones, even if you start it later in life. Healthy nutrition that includes calcium along with regular exercise benefits your bones to prevent frail bones that can be a common occurrence as we age.
Exercise Prevents Colds
Health experts believe exercise helps to spike the immune system for a few hours a day helping to ward off colds. Researchers at the University of Carolina found that people who exercised were 23% less likely to catch a cold than those who never exercised.
My Favorite Experience of Benefits of Exercise – Reduced Back Pain
I have degenerative disc disease and can have a great deal of pain in my lower back. I have 6 discs at varying levels of deterioration – bulging and torn. Aside from getting regular maintenance on it such as cortisone shots and ablation, regular exercise makes a huge difference. It helps prevent further injury from day to day activities by keeping my core muscles strong.
The many health benefits of exercise motivate me to get up and get moving much more than how I look. I want to feel as good as I can for as long as I can. Regular exercise benefits are vital to good health and a better quality of life as we age.
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