One thing is very clear. Exercising your way to old age is probably the best thing that you can do to ensure that you grow old properly. Exercising throughout your young age means that you grow old with the least amount of deterioration of your physiological functions and the lowest number of infirmities. Exercise helps you to improve your health as well as the number of years where you enjoy good health.
However, separating the impact of the different factors that lead to physical decline in the human body is extremely difficult. Researchers tried to answer all sorts of questions like “does the body deteriorate because people are increasingly sedentary as the body ages” and “does the passage of time take a toll on the mind and the body of an individual”, but failed to do so.
Resveralife recently reviewed an amazing study that was published in The Journal of Physiology. This study tried to isolate the impact of a sedentary lifestyle by basing their judgments on 125 cyclists from the age group of 55 – 79. These cyclists might not belong to the elite bracket, but the men had to be able to ride a total of 100kms in under 6.5 hours and women had to be able to ride a total of 60kms in under 5.5 hours in order to qualify for the study. The research didn’t produce a single reliable marker of aging, and ended up highlighting the complexity of aging instead.
According to Stephen D. R. Harridge, a researcher associated with this study and a professor at the King’s College London, the study determined that the relationship between the measuring factor and aging isn’t clear. He said that even though the researchers studied a diverse range of indices, it was not possible to identify a single physiological marker that can be reliably used to predict the age of a person. He also mentioned that the study determined that the relationship between most functions and chronological age is complex. Therefore, even when the aging process is free from its limiting factors, it is bound to be very individualistic.
The study also made it clear that physical activity is extremely good for the body as one grows old. Researchers actually discovered that the overall results obtained by physically fit older people were quite similar to those obtained by younger people. This made them very different from others in the same age bracket who led a sedentary lifestyle. Furthermore, the study tried to determine the sense of well-being for its participants and found out that most of the cyclists were high-functioning and healthy individuals. This actually speaks volumes on the amount of importance exercise holds in extending the healthy years of one’s life.
Resveralife reviewed another study conducted by the Director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, Benjamin Levine. This study mentioned that four to five cardiovascular workouts every week seemed to be the ideal defense against failing cardiac strength. Levine mentioned that even if one starts off with exercises in his or her late middle age, the effects on the blood vessels and the heart should be substantial.