As a Bexley Personal Trainer, I see a lot of clients and customers on a daily basis. I work with people as young as 16 and as old as 103. I am 37, and I look and feel a lot younger than I did at age 25. This has led me to think whether exercise and a healthy lifestyle has played a part in helping feel and look as young as I do. It is also a common fact that the wealthier of the population live longer than their poorer counterparts. This has made me often wonder whether exercise can reverse the aging process.
The research shows that exercise indeed has positive effects on aging, even at a cellular level. The studies show significant improvements in the cells of participants who exercised and those who did not.
To break this down, firstly, let’s look at the Metabolic age, or your true age as some call it. Your metabolic age is based on your height, age, muscle and body fat percentage. This information is used to determine how many calories your body needs perform basic functions (digestion, heart rate, breathing etc).
Loss of muscle mass
As you go above the age of 30, you lose 5-10% of muscle density every year. This means you need to redress this with strength training or you stand the chance of gaining excess body fat and getting weaker. As you get weaker, your chance of falling and breaking a bone or two increases.
Time is irrelevant
Have you noticed when doing something difficult that time can really drag and when you do something really exciting, time passes in a moment? Memories from 10 years ago can seem like yesterday, and events that happened this week seem to have happened a long time ago or not at all. I am starting to come up with a theory that time is indeed irrelevant. Someone in their 50’s can have a much younger metabolic age, and look and feel like they are in their 30’s while a 30 year old can have a much older appearance and metabolic age. Your actual age can have very little relevance to what is actually going on in your body and mind.
It is more than just physical
Exercising in the gym has social implications as well. you tend to meet younger people at the gym, participating in group exercise or while exercising outdoors, which means you will get exposed to new ideas and interesting people. Being a part of a wider social group has been proven to improve your life expectancy.
The clock is ticking
Your heart has a certain maximum number of beats it can make before it stops working. Some people’s hearts beat faster than others to do the same job. This means some hearts are less efficient than others. The lower your resting heart rate, the longer you will live which means less strain on your body and a better performing body overall. As you increase your level of physical activity, your heart will respond better to stress, and this is a net gain overall.
How much energy do you have?
Youth is often equated with energy. Are you more energetic than you were when you were younger or less so? Energy depends on a lot of factors, and not just youth. If you have the energy to do more stuff, you are probably eating better, moving better and getting better sleep. Doing all these things together will mean a real improvement to your life, and your body will follow suit.
I am a Mobile Personal Trainer based in Bexley. I also train clients from The Gym, Broadway shopping Centre, Bexleyheath. If you would like to find out more about how I can help you be your best self, contact me for further information on booking a personal training session.