Age is just a number when it comes to exercise. In fact, we must change how we exercise each decade to meet our bodies’ changing composition of muscle, fat and bone. Exercise has to be consistent to protect our bodies against the natural effects of aging. If there is such a thing as a fountain of youth, exercise seems to be just that.                                                           

Exercise can, and does, impact the aging process in a positive way. Therefore research bears out that even just walking can help keep weight off of the body as age encroaches. Literally thousands of studies on the subject demonstrate that regular exercise is extremely beneficial for both health and weight. The message here is clear: exercise is not a choice if we want to age well.

A 20-year-old can push it when it comes to physical fitness, while the elderly become more fragile as they age. At 50, form and strength training become more important to maintaining good bones and health. To highlight how age plays a role in the loss of muscle mass, research shows; the elderly lose as much as 40 percent of their muscle and a 30 percent decrease in strength by age 70. Muscle loss most likely affects the lower body. To stop this inevitable sagging of our muscles, we must focus more on our lower body when exercising as we age

So the big question for researchers and those who exercise; does this loss of muscle and strength come from simple aging? Or is it attributable to lack of use of muscles and joints on a regular basis?
It seems to be the latter. With regular strength and cardio training, many health problems related to aging can be mitigated. Research shows that the body continues to gain strength into the third decade of life. In the fourth decade of life, muscles begin to lose mass and weight begins to increase without the benefit of regular exercise.

It is therefore important to have some form of physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day. Six days a week to maintain weight, reduce loss of bone and maintain muscle strength as we age. To maintain a healthy, strong body as we age exercise is very vital according to the Centers for Disease Control.

If one has led a fairly sedentary lifestyle or has developed health problems, including weight gain or even obesity, a professional such as your doctor, a certified personal trainer or physical therapist should be consulted prior to beginning a workout program. For older adults, it is important to learn proper form, balance and technique to prevent exercise-related injuries.

Regular exercise helps people age more slowly and live healthier.


Written By:
Philis Iguta
Physical Therapist
Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Health Centre

Age Is Just A Number When It Comes To Fitness

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