Sleekers, it is true that some age-related changes in our bodies such as wrinkles and grey hair, are inevitable. It was once thought that changes to muscles, bones and joints were unavoidable too. However, research suggests that many factors associated with ageing are due to inactivity, and that exercising can help to reduce, even reverse the effects of muscle and bone ageing helping to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis.
Muscle changes As we age we loose muscle size and strength which can contribute to fatigue, weakness and reduced tolerance to exercise. This is caused by a number of factors working in combination – Muscle fibres reduce in number and shrink. The actual muscle tissue is replaced more slowly and is replaced with a tough, fibrous tissue instead. And changes in the nervous system cause muscles to have reduced tone and ability to contract. Regular well performed exercise combats all of these, helping you keep strength, tone and energy levels high.
Bone changes Bone is living tissue and as we age, the structure of bone changes as well as our muscles. We loose calcium and other minerals reducing bone tissue meaning low bone mass. There are several contributing factors. Hormonal changes for one – in women, menopause triggers the loss of minerals in bone tissue. In men, the gradual decline in sex hormones leads to the later development of osteoporosis. One of the biggest factors relating to bone wastage however has be shown to be an inactive lifestyle. Research has shown that weight bearing and low impact exercise has a direct affect on improving bone density.
Age-related changes in joints In a joint, bones do not directly contact each other. They are cushioned by cartilage that lines your joints, by synovial membranes around the joint and by a lubricating fluid inside your joints (synovial fluid). As you age, joint movement becomes stiffer and less flexible because the amount of lubricating fluid inside your joints decreases and the cartilage becomes thinner. Ligaments also tend to shorten and lose some flexibility. Again, many of these age-related changes to joints are caused by lack of exercise. Movement of the joint, and the associated ‘stress’ actually helps keep the fluid moving. Being inactive causes the cartilage to shrink and harden further, reducing joint mobility and leaving you feeling stiff and often ache.
Physical activity and keeping Sleek. So beyond attaining the Sleek body you want to see in the mirror and slip into your skinny jeans, feel virtuous that you are doing something to actively prevent and reverse many age-related changes to your muscles, bones and joints to keep you fighting fit from the inside for many years to come It’s never too late to start living a Sleek active lifestyle and enjoying the benefits.