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The anti-aging effect of a simple relaxation exercise

A simple relaxation exercise has an unmistakable anti-aging effect in slightly older men and women. Researchers at the University of Shahrekord in Iran discovered that muscular progressive relaxation exercises reduce fatigue, increase vitality, improve daily physical functioning, help the brain to work better and increase emotional stability.

The researchers got 30 reasonably fit older people - average age 65 - to perform muscular progressive relaxation exercises three times a week for three months. During the sessions, which lasted about 45 minutes, the participants tensed different muscle groups in turn and then relaxed them.

The anti-aging effect of a simple relaxation exercise

Muscular progressive relaxation is about relaxing the tensed muscles: the exercise is intended to remind you what it's like to relax completely and above all how to reach that state. If you Google the term progressive relaxation you'll find plenty more information.

Before starting the exercises and then at the end of the three months the researchers used standardised questionnaires [the SF-36 and the FSS] to find out the participants were faring.

A control group of 30 comparable elderly people did not do relaxation exercises.

The relaxation exercises made the participants physically and psychologically fitter. They reported that they found it easier to do everyday physical activity and that relaxation reduced aches and pains. In addition the participants felt they had more vitality. Cognitive processes and memory improved and their emotional stability increased.

The anti-aging effect of a simple relaxation exercise

The anti-aging effect of a simple relaxation exercise

At the same time the relaxation exercises reduced the percentage of participants with serious fatigue.

The anti-aging effect of a simple relaxation exercise

"The findings of the present study indicated that progressive muscle relaxation caused an increase in individual's ability to do daily activity independently of others and positively affected other aspects of quality of life," the researchers summarised.

"Regarding the findings of the present study, we can conclude that the elderly quality of life could be promoted, their fatigue severity can be mitigated, their independence in doing daily activities is further increased, and finally, they can help achieve a prosperous and healthy aging through implementing a regular program of progressive muscle relaxation."

Acta Med Iran. 2016 Jul;54(7):430-6.

Relaxation exercise halves cortisol level 08.07.2009

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