Working any muscle strengthens it, so we shouldn't be surprised that the heart muscle gets stronger from being periodically stressed, and the exercise may also strengthen blood vessels by forcing them to dilate and perhaps make them more elastic. If you haven't exercised in a while, start with walking until you can do weight lifting, and then add some kind of activity—cycling, swimming, or using an elliptical trainer to elevate your heart rate (running chronically often stresses your joints too much). By adding strength training and then stamina training, the average 55-year-old man becomes eight years younger in RealAge, and a 55-year-old woman drops 9.1 years.
Another way exercise can help you is by reducing stress, which is one of the greatest agers of your body.
But perhaps the most important reason to exercise is that it can help prevent you from ballooning up to the size of a two-bedroom condo. This is critical because if you're seriously overweight, you significantly increase your risk of heart disease. Think of it this way: The loss of even 10 percent of your body weight will significantly improve your overall and cardiovascular health and can make you nine years younger in real age.
Find out more about this book:YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger