With more time and research being put into health and fitness, there are constantly options arising for combatting the health and fitness problems in the UK. One area of fitness which has had more focus put into it is Older Adult fitness, which is an area of fitness that was previously understudied.
A new study has looked into the effects that exercise can have on keeping the mind and body young for longer, and the findings of the study have shown to be massively positive, with participants over the age of 70 who exercised showing to have heart, lung, and muscles in the working order of someone in their 40’s.
The researchers at the Ball State University in Muncie studied people over the age of 70 who have exercised regularly for decades to see whether it could help reduce the rate of ageing in Men and Women. The study compared various participants with different levels of active lifestyle, whilst also looking at varying ages; allowing the researchers to compare the results of those over 70 to younger people.
The researchers looked to determine the participants’ aerobic endurance by looking into their ‘VO2 max measurements’. This assesses the maximum amount of oxygen that someone can use during intense aerobic exercise. The researchers did this by asking the participants to carry out indoor cycling.
Researchers say it is vital to analyse this, as VO2 max tends to decline by approximately 10% every 10 years after a person reaches the age of 30, and this reduction corresponds to an increased risk of disease.
When drawing their conclusions, researchers found that the results of the physically active participants in their 70’s look like those of healthy people decades younger and that the benefits seem to apply to both Women and Men.
Scott Trappe, Director of the Human Performance Laboratory has stated that the benefits of exercise for people over 70 also does not depend on the level of exercise, as he went to say; “If you want to put 30–45 minutes of walking in one day, the amount of health benefit you are going to get from that is going to be significant and substantial.” which is positive for those who dread the thought of strenuous exercise.
This is massively positive for people over 70 who are looking to stay active, as they know that any efforts that they put in will pay off, and this will keep a lot of people going, as too many older people don’t see any benefit from the exercise, which leads a lot of them to stop being active on a regular basis.
Overall, Older People staying active by themselves is only the start of the shift toward a healthier older population, with Personal Trainers now being able to pursue courses that qualify them to train Older Adults. Down to this, and the growing focus on helping the Older population stay fit, we now have opportunities like never before to combat a big problem within fitness.