The long term benefits of this form of exercise are just as important, and affect our longevity in several ways.
Aerobic exercise, along with other fitness options, are a boon for our brain health. Who in the heck wants their brain cells to rustas they age? Bea sure doesn’t. A recent study published in Frontiers in Aging Neurosciencedocumented the effects of exercise on memory and other cognitive functions. This is only one study, of course; but there are plenty more out there in Googleland that provide additional evidence of the power of aerobic activity on our brains.
Aerobic exercise helps us fight off age-related disease and conditions that make aging not-so-fun! There’s a great deal of scientific evidence linking aerobic exericise to the prevention of heart diseases, certain cancers, Type II diabetes, and stroke.
Aerobic exercise can helps us increase our endurance, flexibility and balance, all of which help fight off frailty as we age.
Aerobic exercise boosts our aging metabolism. Once we hit our thirties, ladies, our metabolism starts to slow down by 2 to 5 percent each decade.* This sucks, right? It’s bad enough that a man’s metabolism is faster than ours, because they have more muscle than we do. How to fight back? Do aerobic exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes every stinking day. Your metabolism will be pleased.
Aerobic exercise helps energize us. Feeling sleepy after lunch? Dozing at your desk? Take a brisk walk for 15 minutes (outside, if possible) and you’ll perk up. In Bea’s opinion, it’s better than a 5-hour energy drink.
Aerobic exercise helps boost our mood. Bea knows this for a fact – she’s a S.A.D. sufferer, and aerobics in front of her television truly helps her break down the blues. Those “feel good” endorphins start their happy dance when she exercises.
Aerobic exercise helps us sleep better. Those of us over the big 4-0 know that insomnia tends to creep up on us as we start going through perimenopause. Arrrghhh, those changing hormones! Aerobic exercise is great for insomnia, as long as it’s not done too close to bedtime (our body temperature needs to cool down to a certain point to fall asleep easily)*
Aerobic exercise helps us fight off the flu and colds by boosting our immune system.
Aerobic exercise boosts our libido and sexual performance. Is your significant other tired of hearing you have a headache? Exercise together out of bed and you may just be happier in bed. You can read more about this lovely benefit in the article, The Top 3 Ways Exercise Boosts your Sex Drive.
Bea gets S.A.D. every year. It usually starts early in November, when the days dim their lights sooner, and nights seem endless. The summer sun becomes a distant memory. S.A.D., of course, is Seasonal Affective Disorder, and many of us are affected by it during these dreary winter months.
This year, however, instead of wallowing in her misery, Bea has made a serious effort to combat this winter depression. This effort lifted her spirits and made a big difference in her outlook.
Do you battle S.A.D. during the winter months? Here’s how Bea fights back:
Walking outside whenever possible to breathe in the fresh air. Even just 10 minutes can be invigorating.
When it’s just too cold out there, she does aerobic exercise or strength training with fitness DVDs in her living room.
Drinking water regularly to fight off lethargy and avoiding sugary foods and simple carbs.
Being productive really helps her feel better – cleaning the house can be satisfying. De-cluttering her home office space is another activity that, believe it or not, enhances her serenity.
Starting a long-overdue project for those dark winter nights.
Making an effort to be social: calling a friend on the phone, planning a night out with the “girls.” This year, she joined an online book club; then went to the movies with some of her new reading buddies.
Bea needs a good night’s sleep to stave off depression, and this has become more difficult as she’s aged. To help enhance her sleep quality, she gets off the computer at least an hour before bedtime. She’ll get comfy on an easy chair, put on her earphones and listen to meditation music while reading a good book. This helps her unwind from her day.
If these ideas don’t work for you, check out some additional tips from health experts: