The Benefits of Staying Active as we Age

Harness the most powerful secret to longevity with Fit4100’s exercise advice. Featuring new ideas, research, and practical tips, this advice is the helping hand you need to get active, become a super ager, and live better for longer.

Decades of research shows that exercise is the panacea for humanity’s health problems.

Experts rarely agree about anything, but exercise is the exception. There is such a strong weight of evidence backing exercise as a pathway to healthy aging that few people ever argue against it.

Why exercise is the best anti-aging method

The breadth of exercise’s positive effects is nearly unfathomable.

In his short film 23 and a half hours, Dr Mike Evans lists a selection of the proven benefits of exercise, including:

  • Effectively treats knee arthritis
  • Reduces progression toward Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  • Reduces risk of diabetes
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Reduces risk of fracture
  • Relieves depression
  • Lowers risk of death
  • Number one treatment of fatigue
  • Improves quality of life

Exercise is also an evidence-backed treatment for chronic pain, an essential intervention for maintaining healthy weight, and a proven method for improving mood and sleep.

The diseases and pitfalls of aging are held at bay by this one simple change in behaviour.

And still, many of us find it difficult or impossible to stay fit and active.

The secret to enjoying exercise as we age

The Fit4100 approach to longevity is about giving you useful tools for anti-aging and healthy aging. Our major difference is an understanding that a tool is only helpful when you know why you’re using it as well as how to use it.

The benefits of exercise are scientifically proven, but they are also abstract. All behaviour change is personal. To overcome resistance to incorporating exercise into your routine, you need to bridge the gap between what research tells you and what you feel.  

This involves self-reflection, but it needn’t be a difficult process. We believe you only need to find answers to two questions to make exercise an inspiring choice, rather than a chore.

#1 – What is my motivation?

All Fit4100 interventions are underpinned by you.

There is something that has brought you here, searching for answers about how to live better for longer. The best motivation comes from clarity about what you want to achieve.

Life is valuable in so many different ways, and every individual has intimate reasons for wanting to live longer and healthier. You don’t need to share these reasons with anyone else, but it is essential that you recognise for yourself a true sense of purpose. After that, specific behaviour change can flow naturally as an extension of your bigger resolve.

#2 – What are my barriers?

Around exercise, we can build up mental and physical barriers. After identifying your motivation, you need to also be honest about what will stop you from being active.

For every barrier, there is a solution. If you are worried that exercise is not safe for you, it can be helpful to discuss with your doctor what movement is safe – even regular gentle walking will trigger many of the benefits associated with activity.

If you find exercise boring or too time-consuming, you need to work out what you can truly enjoy – maybe it is swimming at the beach or hiking through the hills. These are some examples of barriers and ways to overcome them, but we encourage you to find your problem and then find the solution that suits you. Confidence and joy are the key to being active for life.

The perfect exercise mix for a long and healthy life

Research shows that almost all exercise and activity has a positive effect on health and aging. This means that as you start out, the best and most effective movement plan is the one that makes you feel enthusiastic.

Fit4100 encourages you to create a sustainable change by bringing exercise into your life gradually and experimenting with different activities to find what you enjoy. Build up to including a variety of exercise.

There are three different exercise families and we will bring you information about each of them. Eventually, you should aim to populate your movement plan with exercises from each family. This mix will give you the maximum health benefit.

Exercise family #1 – Flexibility and balance

Maintaining and improving your flexibility and balance allows you to retain your full range of motion as you age. This is the foundation for continuing to have an active and joyful life, free of fear, with strong joints and bones, ability to do necessary everyday tasks, and a reduced risk of falls.

Flexibility and balance exercise can include yoga, Tai Chi, bowls, heel raises, and side leg raises.

Exercise family #2 – Strength

In this podcast, Dr Peter Attia explains the relationship between strength and healthy aging.

“If you are interested in longevity, if you are interested in playing with your great grandkids, you want to prioritize muscle mass,” he says. “Never in the history of civilization has a 90-year-old said, ‘I wish I had less muscle.” Dr Peter Attia MD

Strength training is not only associated with greater muscle mass, but also with improved bone mass, better balance, and sharper reaction times. All of these attributes are essential for an independent and invigorating life.

Movements that improve strength do not always have to involve weights – you can also do activities like push ups and sit ups, or even achieve better strength through tasks like digging in the garden.

Exercise family #3 – Cardio

Getting your heart pumping and your lungs working has an untold number of benefits.

Cardio exercises improve endurance, maintain healthy weight, and offer a variety of mental health gains as well. Dr Rhonda Patrick explains how intense aerobic exercise is particularly helpful for mood regulation, including as a way of dealing with depression.

Positivity and capability are vital ingredients in extending and improving life. To up your weekly cardio, try to incorporate exercises like stair climbing, swimming, cycling, and jogging.

How to exercise for longevity: Three steps you can take today.

1) Recognise why you want to live better and longer.

2) Acknowledge what pace of change and what kind of exercise is safe and realistic for you.

3) Make one small and positive change today. Here are three easy examples:

A) Write a three-week exercise plan and add movement sessions into your diary with reminders.

B) Join the beginners’ league of a local sports club.   

c) Do 30 minutes of low-grade exercise – we recommend going for a walk or trying an at-home yoga for beginners, or a low impact Pilates session.