We’ve known for a long time that exercise is healthy. However, a long-term study conducted by sports scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has found that people who lead active lifestyles are around 10 years younger in terms of motor skills.
STUDY ON BENEFITS OF EXERCISE INVOLVING 500 PARTICIPANTS
The German study began in 1992 and included 500 volunteers between the ages of 35 and 80. The participants regularly underwent a series of medical examinations (measuring height, weight, body composition, EKG and lung function). In addition, they had to perform fitness and motor skill tests — including sit-ups, one-leg stands and push-ups.
10 years younger and fewer health problems
The result: people in advanced age who exercise regularly are around 10 years younger in terms of motor skills than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. The KIT study says, for instance, that a 50-year-old who exercises regularly is as fit as an inactive 40-year-old. Active people also tend to have fewer physical complaints with advancing age. In fact, those who do less than 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity per week, as recommended by the World Health Organisation WHO, are four times more likely to suffer from Type 2 diabetes.
STAYING ACTIVE AS YOU AGE
In 2018, the Journal of the American Heart Association published the results of a study on physical activity and sedentary time in people between the ages of 60 to 64, which showed that increasing the amount of light intensity or moderate to vigorous intensity exercise decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The conclusions drawn from this study were that boosting physical activity of any intensity and reducing sedentary time has significant benefits on the cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory health for people in early old age. This is generally the time at which people shift from working life to retirement and have the opportunity to either continue an active lifestyle or develop new healthy habits in their daily routine.
REGENERATION OF MUSCLE CELLS
A recent study on mice has also shown that voluntary wheel running accelerates muscle repair in aging mice. Like mice, as we age, the regeneration of our muscle cells becomes less efficient, especially if we lead more sedentary lifestyles. By staying active, we can increase the efficiency of cell regeneration in our muscles, which helps us recover better after working out.
The benefits of exercise are endless and can improve our lives now and in the future. We are all aware that fitness and motor skills decline with age. Regular exercise, however, can slow this process down significantly. More exercise also means improved quality of life in old age. Active people report looking and feeling 10 years younger than sedentary people in terms of motor skills. So, if you want to lead a long and healthy life, keep moving, and be sure to include both cardio and strength exercises in your schedule on a regular basis.