In recent years a lot more research has focused on the health risks of leading a sedentary lifestyle. Many of us have heard phrases like “sitting is the new smoking”. But just how much damage can an inactive lifestyle do? A new study has a number for us that may shock you - 8 years. Eight years older than your true age is how you may feel and appear if you don’t take part in an active lifestyle.
The BBC reports about the study led by Dr. Aladdin Shadyab of the University of California, San Diego that suggests women who are not physically active in their golden years have faster aging cells than those who remain active. Around 1500 women between the ages of 64 and 95 participated in the study. Researchers found that those who tended to be more sedentary and spent less than 40 minutes each day exercising were on average 8 biological years older than their more active counterparts.
Researchers are recommending people be more mindful of the amount of time they are sitting and try not to be sedentary for 10 hours a day, especially as we get older. Though many of those entering their 70’s and 80’s may think it’s time to throw in the towel when it comes to daily exercise, Dr. Shadyab explains how important physical activity is even in our older years. Dr. Shadyab says, “Discussions about the benefits of exercise should start when we are young, and physical activity should continue to be part of our daily lives as we get older, even at 80 years old.”
The types of physical activity recommended for a healthy and mobile 65 year old consist of 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week like walking or riding a bike. Working all your muscles with strength exercises is also recommended for this age group at least twice a week. And as we age, balance and coordination are very important to reduce risk of injury from slips and falls. Activities like yoga and pilates can be a big help in this area.
What do you think of the new study that suggests leading a sedentary lifestyle ages our cells by 8 years?
How do you stay active?
Its tough to stay active as you get older especially if you have medical issues and/or arthritis as I know all too well. But we must move to stay healthy even when it hurts. Something is better than nothing. The more we get out there the better we feel each day. Take care of your bodies if you are younger as I had no idea how much it would affect me years later. You need to be active but try not to do damage. I did too much and was too hard on my body! But I did enjoy being so athletic.