14 Aug 6 Effects Of Aging That Running Can Counteract
Being in your 20s and 30s feels like time is not pressing you against a wall… In fact, it feels like you can break the wall.
But what comes after your 40s can be a frightening idea, and anyone surpassing that mark can confirm the nerve-racking tale.
And still for many, being in your 40s and beyond will come accompanied of good things, like getting to the pinnacle in your professional career, or finally settling financially and emotionally, for example.
But unfortunately, there is something that goes through an inevitable and natural decline: your body.
After your 40s , your body will go through a series of age related changes that will result in a decline of your overall physical (and sometimes emotional) condition.
But sit tight, there are things we can do to slow down these effects -and running is one of them.
These are 6 effects of aging that running can counteract:
1. Running can counteract cardiovascular issues
As you age, one of the things your cardiovascular system will experience is the hardening of your blood vessels and arteries, which causes your heart to work harder in order to send blood through them.
This means, your heart will adjust to the new workload and will be more demanded than before.
Aging increases the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) and other cardiovascular problems, and through physical activity -like running, you will promote better heart health. Running can help maintain weight in check and lower the risk of heart diseases.
Make sure to combine physical activity with a healthy diet such as lean proteins (grass fed beef, wild caught salmon, avocado, vegetables, fruits -berries-, whole grains).
Running can also help relieve stress. According to this study by the Brigham Young University, “Exercise is a simple and cost-effective way to eliminate the negative impacts on memory of chronic stress,” said study lead author Jeff Edwards, associate professor of physiology and developmental biology at BYU.
When stress is not managed adequately, it can take a toll on your heart, and exercise is a great way to battle it.
2. Running can counteract bone and muscle deterioration
Aging brings an important change in bone density and muscle mass. Bones will tend to shrink and muscles will lose mass, strength, and flexibility after your 40s -unavoidable reality.
But how to counteract this? Running -among other physical activities, can help.
A study by the University of Missouri found that running might have a greater positive effect on bone mineral density than resistance training.
“The results of the study confirm that both resistance training and high-impact endurance activities increase bone mineral density. However, high-impact sports, like running, appear to have a greater beneficial effect,” said Pam Hinton, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences.
It is highly recommended to follow a strength training routine combined with your running routine, this way your muscles will be better primed for shock absorption, and to better support your overall physical demands.
(When time is a limitation, this BodyBoss Home Gym is a great equipment that provides a complete solution at the comfort of your home for strength training).
Remember to get adequate amounts of calcium. Foods such as broccoli, kale, salmon and tofu can provide good amounts of calcium. It is recommended to take at least 1000mg of calcium daily for adults. Calcium supplements such as Caltrate are a good option if you don’t take enough calcium from your daily diet.
Remember to keep good flexibility too. Make sure to incorporate a mild stretching routine before and after workouts. This can increase your ROM (range if motion), allowing your muscles to perform and recover better. This is another way to improve the health of your muscles.
3. Running can counteract digestive issues
When we get older, some structural changes happen in your large intestine resulting in more constipation. Eating a healthy diet will help on this front, but including physical activity, like running, can help tremendously in reducing constipation.
Regular cardiovascular exercise will help strengthen abdominal muscles, and increasing your heart rate on a regular basis reduces intestinal sluggishness by stimulating your muscles to push digestive waste through your body.
Make sure to eat a healthy diet high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables in combination with physical activity.
If digestion is an issue, you can additionally aid this process with Rachel’s Digestive Relief Tea. A tea made with natural ingredients to help relieve abdominal discomfort, cramping, bloating, and constipation.
Foods that contribute to constipation include gluten, white rice (replace by brown rice), red meat, white bread (replace by whole grain bread), chocolate (due to its fatty content), high-fat frozen dinners, chips, fast foods, sugar.
Remember to drink plenty of water.
When hydration on the go is the need, this Hydro Flask Water Bottle is amazingly functional. Its TempShield will ensure that your beverage maintains its temperature for hours. A sleek design, slip-free grip, easy access wide mouth, and BPA free makes this bottle a must.
4. Running can counteract memory and thinking skills loss
Your brain will also suffer the effects of aging and your cognitive skills will go in decline too. For example, names or words will be more difficult to remember, or numerical problems will become harder to solve.
Physical activity increases blood flow to your brain boosting brainpower. Exercise creates new brain cells through neurogenesis and prevents cognitive decline.
Another aspect of running is your social interaction, which can help battle depression and stress, and these are two main contributors to memory loss.
Running can make you sleep better too. Physical activity will increase your body temperature, which will have a calming effect on the mind. A good sleep resets brain functions for better focus and alertness the next day, and can make brain cells regenerate more efficiently.
This study also suggests that physical activity boosts creativity and mental energy.
5. Running can counteract weight gain
Aging makes your body burn calories more slowly. This means, if you eat the same but without any workout in the agenda, you will gain weight. Among other conditions, overweight can cause diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Running, jogging, or even a daily walk can battle weight gain after your 40s. Remember, your body will slow down on calorie burning, so you need to help it do its job.
TIP: Add additional cushioning to your running shoes with theses Sof Sole Insoles. They can help reduce shock impact by as much as 50%.
6. Running can counteract loss of sex drive
With age, sexual needs and performance will change. For women, vaginal dryness can make sex uncomfortable. And for men, disfunction and impotence might become a concern.
Regular exercise has been shown to improves the release of sexual hormones. Running (and exercise in general) also help increase circulation and blood flow which increases sexual response.
Exercising can make you feel more comfortable and confident with your body, which can lead to improve sexual desire and arousal too.
Make sure not to do too much too fast. When your body signals a stressful situation -higher physical demands than necessary, your body will shut down reproductive capacities.
Unfortunately, we can’t stop the effects of aging, but we can certainly slow them down. Make the right choices to maintain an active life and healthy habits. Living a longer life is a matter of choice.