Centr x Lifespan.io
Your future self called: they need you to work out
Centr has partnered with Lifespan.io, a nonprofit leader in longevity science journalism and advocacy, to bring you the latest research on aging and rejuvenation. Learn more about our partnership below.
Aging is not just a problem for your future self to deal with. If you’ve hit your 30s, it’s already happening.
Which is why, if you want to fight aging, you’d better start fighting NOW – not just in 30 years when you consider yourself "old".
To live well today, and keep living well into the future, here are 6 reasons to prioritize exercise for longevity.
1. Keep your bones strong
Did you know that bone density starts declining in your mid-30s? That’s reason enough to move strength training up your priority list.
While a broken bone may dent the summer plans of a 12-year-old, it will take longer to heal for someone in their 50s and can potentially be life-ending for someone in their 80s.
Along with a diet that’s high in protein, vitamins and minerals, Centr dietitian Angie Aschie recommends strength training – using weights or any kind of resistance – as a great way to optimize bone health.
2. Reduce your risk of cardiac disease
One of the biggest reasons to get active (and stay active) is for your heart health.
Exercise reduces the risk of many types of heart disease, and can provide similar benefits to medication in preventing repeated episodes in people who have already suffered stroke or heart attack.
The heavy hitter for heart health is cardio – any form of training that gets your heart rate up. But strength training can also help by increasing overall blood volume and strengthening capillaries around your heart muscles.
3. Protect against certain cancers
Regular exercise has been linked with a lower cancer risk, but how exactly does it help? There are several possible factors.
Exercise helps to manage weight, and being overweight can place you at risk of developing certain cancers. It also helps to regulate hormones, which can increase risk when imbalanced, and improve the functioning of your immune system.
One study also suggests that exercise can make life harder for metastatic cancer cells (the cells that break off and spread throughout the body) by making healthy cells ‘hungrier’ – leaving fewer nutrients for cancer cells to feed on.
In one study, high-intensity exercise was connected with an up to 73 percent reduction in metastatic cancer.
4. Maintain a sharp brain
To keep your brain firing, fire up your muscles! Exercise has been shown to improve cognition, potentially helping you to maintain a sharp brain as you age.
It can also do good things for your mind right now. After just one workout, the increased flow of blood to your brain can improve focus and memory for up to three hours. After a month of regular exercise, scientists believe a boost in a crucial protein leads to improved memory, information processing and attention.
And after 6 months of working out, your brain can actually start to grow.
5. Stay social and independent
When you think about growing older, what worries you? We’re guessing that isolation and loss of independence are high on the list.
Social connection – the support of family and friends – as well as physical mobility and strength are essential to maintaining independence.
These two factors also create a beneficial loop: the more you exercise in order to maintain strength and mobility, the more likely you are to be social. And the more social you are, the more active you are likely to be.
A study that followed older adults for 14 years found that people who did group exercise maintained their overall fitness for longer than those who worked out alone.
6. Shore up your joints against pain and arthritis
The joint pain that many associate with old age is usually related to loss of strength and deteriorating bone health. For instance, a weak core can exacerbate back pain.
As mentioned earlier, both your muscle strength and bone health can be improved by exercise – in particular by strength training.
Don’t let the heavy weights fool you: strength training is a low-impact exercise that helps strengthen not only joints and ligaments, but the muscles surrounding them. And stronger muscles and ligaments help to hold the body upright, protecting your bones and joints when moving.
Exercise will also help you reduce weight, which in turn takes the pressure off major joints like the knees, reducing pain and the risk of osteoarthritis.
Disclaimer: This Centr content is adapted with permission from an article written by Lifespan.io. The content herein represents Centr’s interpretation of the original source material.
Centr x Lifespan.io
Centr has partnered with Lifespan.io to bring you the latest in longevity research. Lifespan.io is the leading source of industry news and a nonprofit advocacy foundation whose mission is to accelerate progress toward overcoming age-related diseases. Since 2014, the organization has focused on responsible journalism, high-impact advocacy, and media initiatives that make longevity research and education more accessible to all.
Sign up to unlock your full potential
All your tools in one place
Expert-training to fuel your fitness, nutrition and mindfulness.
Limitless ways to fuel your mind & body
Access to over 3,000 workouts, recipes, and meditations – all tailored to your goals.
Tech that keeps you moving
Download Centr on all your devices to level up and track your results live.