Fitness, Like Youth Doesn’t Last

Fitness, Like Youth Doesn’t Last

Warning: Your Physical Fitness Is Declining Earlier Than You Might Expect

The above article discusses a study performed at the Duke Older Americans Independence Center attempting to gauge how long your physical fitness lasts.

Or rather if you are fit at 30, will that stay at 50 or 70?

To gauge age-related changes in people’s physical performance, the researchers had 775 participants between their 30s and their 90s perform a variety of physical tasks designed to measure strength, endurance, balance and walking speed. While men generally performed better than women at all ages, the age at which physical declines began to appear (the 50s!) was consistent for both genders. That’s when both men and women began to slide in their ability to rise from a chair and stand on one leg. Additional drops in their gait speed and aerobic endurance occurred among participants in their 60s and 70s.

So that is a big no. And surprising because you would expect someone in good physical shape to be able to prevent decline.

The upshot: Everybody needs to take steps to preserve their physical function early in adulthood, Hall says. While some degree of physical decline is inevitable as people get older, the rate or severity of that loss varies significantly from one person to another – and it’s a mistake to wait until it sets in. The key to minimizing or delaying that drop, Hall says, is to stay active with a well-rounded exercise program that includes a variety of activities that target endurance, strength, balance and flexibility.

Thankfully, the article goes on recommend some endurance and strength building exercises that we could all incorporate into our daily lives at any age.

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