What Science Says About Cardiovascular Habits That Slow Aging – Eat This, Not That

Ah, how beautiful it would be to stay forever young? Although Father Time has yet to share a magic potion that will keep us young for eternity, there are some things you can do yourself to ensure you live your best life, the healthiest and fittest life. Of course you have to get enough sleep to prevent your cells from aging and have a balanced and nutritious diet. (Some longest living people around the world were consuming plant-based foods and less processed meats.) In addition to this, getting exercise into your regular routine is essential to lead a long and healthy life. With all that in mind, we dug deeper into what the science says about cardio habits that slow aging. Read on to find out more, and then don’t miss The 6 best exercises for strong, toned arms in 2022, according to the trainer.

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Let’s start by noting that in addition to cardio habits that slow aging, weight training is a must for sculpting a fit body as you age. Aging unfortunately comes with a loss of lean muscle mass if you don’t do anything on your part to preserve it.

Researchers from the National Institute of Aging have been busy studying strength training and its benefits for over 40 years. Luckily for us, they’ve identified many ways this can have a positive impact on seniors. They found that strength training can help you improve your mobility, maintain lean muscle mass, and extend your healthy lifespan.

Usually, strength and muscle mass increase steadily from birth until age 30-35. Once you hit this “peak,” your muscle performance and power begins to gradually decline. The National Institute on Aging explains that this natural decline can be slowed, as long as you continue to lead a fit and active lifestyle.

Related: How I Learned to Slow Aging and Live Better at a Wellness Retreat

woman walking outside demonstrating cardio habits to slow aging
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Now let’s move on to cardio habits that slow aging. Getting outdoors or hitting the treadmill for a brisk walk every day can be a positive step towards the long life you desire. According Mayo Clinic, this super simple yet effective form of cardio has its benefits; it helps you reduce stress (which could lead to premature death), boost your immune system, boost your energy levels, and strengthen your muscles and bones. Plus, going for a brisk walk can help you avoid or manage certain health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and cancer.

Of course, be sure to do all the right things for your body before, during, and after walking. This includes choosing the right walking shoes, warming up and stretching after you cool down.

Related: The #1 Workout for an Incredibly Healthy Life, Says Trainer

Happy mature couple demonstrating cardio habits that slow aging
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Put on your sneakers, go for a run and get ready to reap the wonderful benefits. A study of 14,000 participants conducted by Asics during the coronavirus pandemic found that 82% of runners in the UK believe this form of cardio is a great way for them to clear their heads. Seventy-eight percent say running helps them feel more balanced (via Mag Trainer).

And it doesn’t stop running. A article in The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry says that aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing, and even gardening have been proven to reduce depression and anxious feelings. The article also mentions that exercise can improve one’s cognitive abilities.

man with back pain swimming to exercise for pain relief
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When it comes to the best cardiovascular exercises for seniors, the International Sports Science Association has a few recommendations. These include low-intensity walking, swimming (or water aerobics, which is very gentle on the joints and has a very low risk of injury), cycling and rowing (which works your whole body ).

happy active woman stretching, keeping fit after 40
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A Research study study at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School shows how detrimental “bed rest” can be to your health, proving that regular exercise is necessary.

Five 20-year-old men, all in good health, took part in the study, during which they devoted three full weeks of their summer vacation to bed rest. The team ran tests on the participants before and after they went to bed, and let’s just say the results after they went to bed were pretty disturbing. The men experienced increased body fat, faster resting heart rates, decreased peak pumping capacity of the heart, and decreased muscle strength (via Harvard Health Publishing).

The researchers took this study one step further by asking participants to follow a fitness program for eight weeks. Working out essentially undid the damage caused by bed rest.

Alexa Mellardo

Alexa is the associate editor of Eat This, Not That!’s Mind + Body, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling stories about fitness, wellness and self-care to readers. Read more

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