Some exercises can help you slow aging and look younger, but this exercise accelerates aging in the body.
Long-duration treadmill workouts and any form of endurance training (especially running) do little when it comes to reversing the aging process. Many times, these endurance exercise bouts accelerate the aging process by increasing free radicals.
Free radicals are scavengers that prey on your body’s essential nutrients and tissues and lead to premature aging.
Long Exercise Accelerates Aging
In small amounts, your body can get rid of them, but long workouts can overwhelm the body with free radicals.
A study published in the journal, Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, shared the following:
We established different types of exercise running on a treadmill both for young and old rats, investigated the effect of aging, exhaustion and training on these groups.
They found that changing the type, intensity and duration of exercise changed the free radical levels in the body (Navarro-Arévalo, 1998).
While not working out at all will cause the loss of muscle and an increase in fat, this study supports the idea that working out too long can also have damaging effects.
Exercise Routine For Aging Well
According to and Steve and Becky Holman, Authors of Old School New Body, the most benefit comes from shorter, more efficient workouts.
On their website they shared the outcome of a recent study conducted at Boston Sports Clubs, that found:
…men and women who exercised for just 20-30 minutes did so more consistently than those trying those longer, 45-60 minute workout sessions. They also achieved results faster because the plan was more time-friendly.
This study, as well as others like it, shows that you are more likely to stick with an exercise routine if it is of shorter duration and more efficient.
Navarro-Arévalo, Ana, and Marı́a Jesús Sánchez-Del-Pino. “Age and Exercise-related Changes in Lipid Peroxidation and Superoxide Dismutase Activity in Liver and Soleus Muscle Tissues of Rats.” Mechanisms of Ageing and Development 104.1: 91-102. Science Direct.
About the Author
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.