Have you ever asked yourself….”Why do I spend hours working out?” If you are totally honest, you will probably say you work out because you want to LOOK GOOD! You also may work out for reasons such as; stress relief, feelings of accomplishment, etc. But I want to suggest a reason to work out that may not even be on your radar screen.
Consistent exercise (working out) can help you fight the effects of aging. I know, I know…you are in your 20’s or 30’s and you haven’t even given aging a second thought. But now is the time to start.
Researchers at Tufts University, a major center for the study of human aging, have found that the major symptoms of biological aging can be improved through increased activity and improved diet. Two Tufts scientists have outlined ten markers for age that are now considered to be reversible. They have documented these in their book “Biomarkers”. These include lean body mass, strength, basal metabolic rate, body fat, aerobic capacity, blood pressure, blood-sugar tolerance, cholesterol/HDL ratio, bone density, and body temperature regulation. Let’s take a look at these markers and what changes due to age.
Lean Body Mass (Muscle Mass) – the average American loses 6.6 lbs. of muscle with each decade after 20. The rate of muscle loss increases after age 45.
Strength – Along with lean muscle mass loss, bundles of motor units (nerves) start deteriorating along with age. Between the ages of 30 and 70, the average person loses 20% of the motor units in the thighs, with similar losses throughout the rest of the muscles in the body.
Basal Metabolic Rate – BMR declines by 2% per decade after age 20.
Body Fat – Between the ages of 20 and 65, the average person doubles his or her percentage of body fat. This is also due to the loss of lean muscle mass.
Aerobic Capacity – By age 65, the body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently declines by 30-40%.
Blood Pressure – As a person ages there is an increase in blood pressure.
Blood – Sugar Tolerance – Older individuals are at a higher risk of type II diabetes because their body’s ability to use glucose.
Cholesterol/HDL Ratio – Total cholesterol tends to increase as a person ages and the “good” (HDL) cholesterol loses ground to the “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Bone Density – Calcium is consistently lost from our skeleton as we age.
Body Temperature Regulation – As we age our body’s have a harder time regulating our internal temperature.
As you can see…there are a number of areas that can be improved with consistent exercise and good diet.
Cardiovascular exercise can help in many areas including, but not limited to…aerobic capacity, body fat, and cholesterol levels.
While lifting weights can help with lean muscle mass, body fat, strength, and bone density.
As we age functional training allows your body to continue “functioning” at the same or near level that we always have. That means that when you are 80 you will be able to still enjoy the great activities that you love today.
I for one want to be an 80 year old great-grandma who drives a red convertible and whistles at all the cute 20 year old hunks at all the stop lights…. 🙂
So if you are anything like me….you will do what it takes today to ensure that your golden years are indeed “golden”.