Exercise and Aging
There are certain things that happen to our bodies as we age:
- decrease in muscle size and strength
- decrease bone mass (therefore increase risk of fracture)
- decrease in tendon strength (increase risk of tendinopathy and ruptures)
- decrease in flexibility
- decrease in cardiovascular fitness (decreased maximum heart rate, stroke volume, cardiac output)
- decrease in functional volume of the lungs
- increase in body fat percentage
The good news is that many of these things can be attenuated with exercise or living an active lifestyle. By maintaining our bodies as we age, we can preserve our quality of lives.
The graph below shows how untrained individuals (UT) will have a steeper decline in fitness compared to highly trained (HT). This speaks to the importance of staying active, not only when you’re you;re young or old, but across the entire lifespan.