A Sedentary Lifestyle: Why, When And How You Should Kick It
A sedentary lifestyle causes the body to age faster,” shares Blake Dismore, owner of Optimal Fitness. “A sedentary person will have biologically older cells than their more active counterparts. Studies show that those who lead a sedentary life are, on average, eight years older than those who remain active.”
Numerous studies link a lack of exercise to shortened telomeres across gender and age.
Dismore explains: “Telomeres are the small caps on the end of DNA strands that are meant to protect chromosomes. As you age, these caps get shorter and deteriorate, resulting in cell death. However, the rate at which our cells die varies from person to person, and lifestyle habits, such as exercise, have an impact on this.”
Click here to find out how a sedentary lifestyle can shrink your brain in the long run.
Which exercises are best to counteract premature aging?
While you can’t change your genetic make-up, you can change how some of your genes are expressed – and this affects how you age.
Dismore recommends both strength and resistance training. Resistance training preserves the muscle mass that we typically lose as we age. In fact, 26 weeks of resistance training have been shown to reverse the aging process at a genetic level.
He says research has found that:
• 240 minutes of exercise per week is optimal for heart health.
• Aerobic activity improves mitochondrial function, which has an anti-aging effect.
• Crossing your legs and arms over the midline of your body improves the connection between the right and left hemispheres of your brain.
• High-intensity interval training is one of the most efficient ways to improve aerobic fitness, which in turn reverses the aging process.
Fitness in your 20s
“Focus on as much cross training as possible, involving all disciplines of fitness,” instructs Dismore.
Fitness in your 30s
“This is the age to really strive for your fitness goals and set the tone for the years to come. Stay moving and expose yourself to as much variety as possible.”
Fitness in your 40s and 50s
“Run, swim, cycle, use weights in a safe way, join a yoga class, learn to carry your body and get used to bodyweight movements. Seek the advice of a professional to help motivate you and guide you in the right direction,” Dismore suggests.
The road to fitness may seem challenging. But if you take it one step at a time, you just might surprise yourself. So don’t hesitate – get started today and reap the health benefits.
Click here to find out how to best jump-start your new active lifestyle with eccentric training.