As we age, our bodies gradually lose some of the features you possessed in our twenties, and the aging process sets it. Believe it or not, physical activity can help slow down the aging process yet too much can accelerate aging for black men.
Besides the physical limitations that accompany aging, your skin and general appearance will also deteriorate if you don’t take any action.
Note that while the aging process is physiological, there is still a lot you can do to slow it down and optimize your quality of life by maintaining a balanced lifestyle. One of the most effective ways to slow down aging is by exercising regularly.
Unfortunately, millions of people give up on their fitness dreams after a few non-guided workout sessions; this is understandable since exercising for the first time can be very frustrating, especially for people who got used to a sedentary lifestyle.
In this article, we will cover some of the benefits of exercising regularly, as well as some fitness exercises to fight the aging process.
The benefits of physical activity for black men
Here are some benefits of regular physical activity:
1. Slows down the aging process
In a study published in the European Heart Journal, scientists inspected the effects of exercises on the cells.
The study lasted over 6 months and included 124 participants who engaged in three different exercise modalities:
- Endurance training (e.g., jogging, swimming)
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Resistance training (i.e., weight lifting).
The fourth group of participants was instructed to maintain their regular exercise routine – they were the control group.
Analyzing the data collected over 6 months revealed that endurance training and HIIT increased the activity of an enzyme known as telomerase. This enzyme protects the cells by increasing the length of telomere – an indispensable process to inhibit apoptosis (i.e., programmed cell death), and eventually, aging.
2. Weight loss
In a 2012 study, researchers evaluated multiple weight loss workouts to determine the best one.
The studied exercise routines were cardiovascular and strength training.
Researchers concluded that cardiovascular training was more effective in burning body fat and lowering the risk of numerous conditions (e.g., heart disease, diabetes).
Note that obesity can have detrimental effects on your body, especially when you get older. In fact, some experts consider weight loss as the most effective anti-aging modality, as it could improve your physical and mental health, as well as your skin and general appearance.
3. Better-looking skin
The skin is always subject to damage triggered by oxidative stress – this process is more pronounced when we age.
Black men are faced with everyday stressors which negatively impact motivation when it comes sticking to a regular fitness activities.
Oxidative stress describes an imbalance in the number of free radicals relative to antioxidants. As a result, skin cells become susceptible to harmful reactions (e.g., inflammation, rashes, wrinkles).
Despite the intense and exhaustive nature of physical activity, it can reduce oxidative stress significantly. Regular exercise boosts the cells’ natural ability to produce antioxidants, subsequently protecting your skin.
Similarly, exercise stimulates blood flow to your skin, which delays age-related signs (e.g., wrinkles).
4. Physical strength
While most people believe that physical strength only results from resistance training, scientists found that aerobic exercises boost physical strength by improving endurance, regulating metabolism, and increasing VO2 max.
Moreover, cardio exercise can drastically improve your joint flexibility, which helps fight age-related articular stiffness. Mobility and flexibility drastically helps reduce aging amongst black men and women by increasing the production of hyaluronic acid which boost collagen and elastin to keep the skin firm.
5. Mental health improvement
Being regularly active has never been more important, especially with the rising rates of organic and mental illnesses. Black men are suffering from mental health issues due to social toxins. Mental factors contribute to an acceleration of the aging process.
In a study published by the Frontiers in Psychiatry in 2018, therapists inspected the effects of physical activity on depression.
They found that physical activity is a very powerful tool to control the symptoms of depression and prolong patients’ life spans.
6. Boosted metabolism
Regular physical activity boosts your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
For those unfamiliar with BMR, it is a metabolic parameter that estimates the number of calories your body needs in 24 hours.
It is subject to several factors, including :
- Body type
- Lean muscle mass
- Degree of physical activity
Unfortunately, BMR slows down dramatically as we age, leading to obesity and other metabolic diseases (e.g., diabetes, heart disease).
The most effective antidote for this issue is regular exercise.
See your doctor before you start
Consulting with a doctor is perhaps the most neglected aspect of starting a workout plan. However, this step is crucial as your doctor will examine you and conclude whether this activity suits your physical health and how to improve in the future.
For instance, if you want to run marathons or triathlons, it might be a good idea to get a physical examination. As a result, you will get an insight into your cardiovascular system and its ability to handle this stress.
Physical activity is an excellent way to slow down aging and maintain your quality of life. Just look at older individuals who exercise regularly; at first glance, they seem in their thirties, and that is due to the amazing effects of moving your body on the cellular and molecular levels.
We hope that this article managed to highlight the role of physical activity in slowing down the progress of aging.
If you have any questions, concerns, or something that you want to add to this discussion, please do not hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section below or reach out to us by clicking Contact Us