10 Reasons to Get Off the Couch

By Prof. David Cameron Smith

Straight out of science, we bring you ten of the best research-backed, age-defying reasons to get moving.

1. Youthful looks: Exercise protects against wrinkles, crows feet and other signs of skin aging. Exercise triggers the release of interleukin 15 (IL-15) which prevents the loss of the thin layer of growing cells that provides the firmness and luster of young, healthy skin.

2. Exceptional hearing: In old mice, regular exercise maintains the health of the cochlear (the inner ear).

3. A keen eye: Regular exercise reduces the risk of vision loss from macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetes – all major causes of visual impairment in the elderly.

4. Superb singing voice: Not keen on starting to speak and sing like your grandparents? Aging changes our voices, due to changes in the structure of the larynx (voicebox), a condition known as presbyphonia. Exercise will have you speaking and singing like someone years younger.

5. A full head of hair: For women, exercise protects against the gradual loss of hair follicles and hair-thinning. For men, alas, exercise may accelerate hair loss – the gleaming crowns of fit guys can be attributed to surging testosterone levels.

6. Shagadelic sex life: It’s not just erectile dysfunction that is improved with exercise. Research points to the importance of core exercises for pelvic floor control and tight buns.

7. Super cells: Exercise is a natural gene therapy. Exercise programs cells to work harder and live longer.

8. Reduced cancer risk: Exercise fights oxidative stress and DNA damage, a major cause of cellular mutations and cancers.

9. Stay regular: Exercise reduces the risks of urinary incontinence and constipation.

10. Longevity: You are far more likely to live longer of you regularly exercise.

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This piece originally appeared on lesmills.com.