Straight out of science, we bring you ten of the best research-backed, age-defying reasons to get moving.
- Youthful looks: Exercise protects against wrinkles, crows feet and other signs of skin ageing. Exercise triggers the release of interleukin 15 (IL-15) which prevents the loss of the thin layer of growing cells that provides the firmness and lustre of young, healthy skin.
- Exceptional hearing: In old mice, regular exercise maintains the health of the cochlear (the inner ear).
- A keen eye: Regular exercise reduces the risk of vision lossfrom macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetes – all major causes of visual impairment in the elderly.
- Superb singing voice: Not keen on starting to speak and sing like your grandparents? Ageing changes our voices, due to changes in the structure of the larynx (voicebox), a condition known as presbyphonia. Exercise will have you speaking and singing like someone years younger.
- A full head of hair: For women, exercise protects against the gradual loss of hair follicles and hair-thinning. For men, alas, exercise may accelerate hair loss – the gleaming crowns of fit guys can be attributed to surging testosterone levels.
- Shagadelic sex life: It’s not just erectile dysfunction that is improved with exercise. Research points to the importance of core exercises for pelvic floor control and tight buns.
- Super cells: Exercise is a natural gene therapy. Exercise programs cells to work harder and live longer.
- Reduced cancer risk: Exercise fights oxidative stress and DNA damage, a major cause of cellular mutations and cancers.
- Stay regular: Exercise reduces the risks of urinary incontinence and constipation.
- Longevity: You are far more likely to live longer if you regularly exercise.
Written by Prof. David Cameron-Smith, article and images sourced from Les Mills