10 Benefits of Exercise at Any Age 

Last updated April 19, 2024

Whether you’re 18 or 80, exercise is a valuable tool for health and wellness. Here are our top 10 benefits of exercise at any age. So, get working out! 

There’s a reason such emphasis is placed on exercise. Scientific studies prove its benefits again and again for people of all fitness levels, ages, sizes and health. If you want to live a healthy life and be full of energy, feel strong, and look great, exercise is where it’s all at. 

There are numerous advantages to staying physically active, whether you’re a strapping 18-year-old or an 80-year-old looking for ways to stay as healthy as possible. 

Here are 10 benefits of exercise at any age. If you need convincing to get up and get moving, these reasons should do it! 

1. Improved Cardiovascular Health

Exercise in all its forms is amazing for cardiovascular health, and it’s also well-documented. Even just walking can improve the health of your heart and lungs. In fact, research shows that walking 3 to 4 miles every day—6k to 9k steps—reduces your chance of a heart attack by 40 to 50%! 

Other forms of exercise have the same effect. Running, cycling, rowing, jumping rope, swimming. They all elevate the heart rate and build strength and endurance in your cardiovascular system. Weight training doesn’t elevate the heart rate as much, but still has a ton of benefits that include better cardiovascular health! 

2. Reduced Stress Levels

Stress doesn’t discriminate by age! Everyone gets stressed. But the good news is, everyone can alleviate stress levels through exercise. First and foremost, exercise gets the blood pumping and promotes clearer thinking. Secondly, it releases endorphins—feel-good chemicals that act as a natural stress reliever. 

Thirdly, if you exercise outdoors, you’re getting the added benefits of being in nature, which is also well-documented for being great for cognitive improvement and stress relief. Even if you only exercise indoors, though, you’ll get plenty of mood-boosting benefits! 

3. Improved Mental Acuity 

Whatever exercise you choose to do, it’s going to get the blood pumping to the brain. This naturally means that there’s more oxygen and nutrients being fed to the brain, so your mental sharpness goes up a notch. 

The kind of training you do can also increase your mental acuity. For example, running on the treadmill might be quite mindless, but playing a round of golf requires strategic thought, quick decisions and precise concentration. 

Being mentally sharper is a good thing regardless of age, but this is also an excellent way to keep your mind young as you age! 

4. Improved Muscular Strength & Endurance 

More muscle equals a faster energy metabolism. That means that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn—but also the stronger and healthier you’ll be for doing everyday tasks like lifting, kneeling and bending. 

When you’re young, there’s the added bonus of being strong and lean (provided you lose any extra pounds). As you age, maintaining muscle mass is important to stay mobile and independent. 

5. Reduced Risk of Injury

Weight-bearing exercise—think walking, running, jumping rope—helps to increase bone density, which basically means your bones don’t age and become brittle very quickly. It’s easy to see the benefits of this for older people. There’s less chance of broken bones if you bump yourself or take a tumble. 

Young people can benefit from weight-bearing exercise, too. The stronger your body is, the more it can handle things like being pushed off balance, moving over uneven ground and being subjected to a sudden force. Keep in mind that you need to do your exercises with good form if you want to truly stay injury-free! 

6. Improved Balance & Flexibility

Stronger muscles allow you to be more in control of your body. Being more in control means you’ll be able to maintain a healthy posture and stay balanced. Something that’s invaluable especially as you age. 

Along with that comes better flexibility. Being flexible is helpful because it means you’re way less likely to hurt yourself doing things like bending over to pick something up or making a twisting motion. 

7. Increased Vitamin D Exposure

If you exercise outdoors, you’ll get the benefit of increased exposure to vitamin D, which most of us don’t get enough of on a daily basis. This particular vitamin plays a role in a variety of processes in the body, including immune system function and bone health. 

8. Improved Mental Health

Multiple factors go into mental health. Exercise ticks a lot of the boxes for improved physical health, but many of them lead to better mental health as well. 

For example, exercise can help you drop those extra pounds, which means that you’ll feel more self-confident and less self-conscious. Increased circulation means you’ll heal faster and your immune system will be supercharged, which means pain reduction, leading to a better mood. 

Plus, depending on what exercise you do, sometimes it’s just a great way to relieve frustration after a rough work day! 

9. Social Connections 

Exercise can be done alone, but it can also become a group thing. Joining a gym or fitness club can help you meet like-minded people who can become your cheerleaders or accountability buddies. 

You might also discover that you have more in common than just the gym. Exercise is a great way to meet people who have similar values to you, and you may find that some of your best lifelong friends are made in these situations. 

For young people, the gym is a healthier place to spend time than the bar or club (although everything is okay in moderation!). For older people, this is a great way to socialize, especially if you join a club that caters to your specific age group. 

10. Better Quality Sleep

Who doesn’t need better sleep? Whether you’re a college student or a retired grandparent, the fact remains—sleep is when the brain and body rejuvenate. When you exercise regularly, you’re more likely to fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer, plus you’ll quite possibly get more deep sleep than those who don’t work out. 

It’s Never Too Late

There’s only really one conclusion to be drawn from this—exercise! When you consider the benefits of exercise at any age, it’s really a no-brainer. If you want to live a strong, healthy life in your youth and live to ripe old age (with fewer niggles and illnesses), then building an exercise habit could be one of the best things you do for yourself.

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