A health and fitness program carries with it the promise of improved quality of life and longevity. Can regular exercise really increase one’s lifespan and contribute to prolonged independence? If so, how? The answer is a resounding yes, and it’s not difficult to see why!
Advanced age is often associated with immediate and severe health decline. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. When we exercise regularly with loads that are challenging but still allow for safe movement, we reap benefits that have lasting health implications. Our muscles become stronger and our bones become thicker. This protects us from falls that can otherwise be life threatening later in life. It also allows us to perform basic, daily tasks for a very long time. When we practice foundational movements, we are actually developing our independence. Picking up objects off the ground and carrying them, getting down and up from the floor or a seat, putting objects overhead; these are all daily tasks that separate independence from reliance on others.
If you are currently exercising regularly, keep up the good work! If not, take the opportunity to invest in your future self. The work you put in now, or lack thereof, will have a large impact on your life in later years. It is true that we will all decline with age to a degree. It is true that there exists factors out of our control. However, it is also true that there are many within our control. Aging gracefully doesn’t have to be luck of the draw!