How do you envision your 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond? Close your eyes. What do you see? A woman with a trim figure, who walks tall and confidently. Smooth skin. A radiant face. Living the life you love, whether that’s tending to your flower garden, playing games with your grandchildren, or traveling around the world. Want to be that woman? Keep on exercising.
Not only does regular exercise help you live longer by strengthening your immune system and helping to prevent disease, ongoing physical activity helps keep your body and mind young and your quality of life high.
“How long your grandparents or parents lived is a key factor in determining your longevity, and medicine will take you to your endpoint,” says Tim Church, M.D., Ph.D., professor and director of the Laboratory of Preventive Medicine at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge and a member of the Curves and Jenny Craig Science Advisory Board. “But regular physical activity helps you live better. It makes it possible for you to take that trip to Europe or go canoeing or play with your grandkids.” Here’s how.
With regular cardiovascular activity, your body becomes better at delivering energy-producing oxygen and glucose (blood sugar) to working muscles. Your heart becomes stronger, your lungs more efficient, and your muscles become more adept at producing energy. When you’re 85, you can take that stamina out the door and enjoy the activities you love.
The Curves connection: The Curves circuit combines strength and cardiovascular exercise in one workout to build stamina-boosting aerobic capacity and muscle.
“We lose 1 to 2 percent of our muscle each year as we age,” says Church. Regular strength training preserves that muscle, which is, of course, essential whether you’re walking, dancing, or putting away the groceries. Resistance training also boosts bone strength and helps prevent osteoporosis. With strong, flexible muscles and a sturdy spine you’ll be able to carry yourself like a supermodel.
The Curves connection: The traditional circuit builds total-body strength, and Curves offers additional classes that emphasize specific areas: your core, legs, arms, balance, and stretching.*
Keeps your mind sharp
Regular physical activity improves your powers of perception, thinking, reasoning, and remembering. And, according to Church and colleagues, older adults, in particular, benefit from the positive influence of cardiovascular exercise on organization, planning, and attention.
The Curves connection: In addition to mind-fueling physical activity, Curves offers a variety of classes where you’ll learn new moves.* Learning new skills also helps keep you mentally fit.
Slims your figure
Yes, you know that movement burns calories and helps you get to and maintain a healthy weight, and that building calorie-burning muscle raises metabolism. When you’re at your goal weight, the benefits to a youthful body go beyond a more flattering fit in your clothing. Shedding extra pounds relieves pressure on joints, prevents arthritis, eases the workload on your heart, and makes every physical activity easier and more comfortable.
The Curves connection: Research shows you can burn up to 500 calories in 30 minutes with vigorous movement around the circuit.
Makes you happier
“Many of the benefits of exercise are above the shoulders,” says Church. “When you physically feel good your whole outlook on life is more positive, but also, regular exercise preserves mental health and helps prevent or ease anxiety and depression.” And when you’re happier, you not only feel younger, you look younger. “Cumulative stress ages your body. Exercise reduces stress and may be one of the reasons that women who remain physically active through their lives look younger than their years,” says Church.
The Curves connection: Not only does a Curves workout reduce stress and lift your mood, the friendship you find among the community of your club will help keep you fit and young for years to come.