You can delay aging by up to 12 years by maintaining aerobic fitness through middle-age, according to a study recently reported at Science Daily (April 10, 2008). In addition to slowing the biological aging effect, you can also prolong your independence during old-age according to an analysis currently published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Such aerobic exercises as jogging and others are believed to improve the oxygen consumption of the body, along with its ability to improve the metabolism, which generates energy for the body. It is believed that maximal aerobic power begins to decline from middle-age, decreasing every decade by around 5 ml [kg. min]. The typical sedentary man who has maximal aerobic power will have fallen to about 25 ml [kg.min] by the age of 60, which is about half of the aerobic power he probably had at the age of 20. When it falls below 18 ml. in men and about 15 ml in women it becomes very difficult to do normal everyday tasks, or pretty much anything else without severe fatigue.
Recent evidence is beginning to show that regular aerobic exercise can slow or can even frequently reverse this decline, even in the geriatric years.
Research has found that relatively high intensity aerobic exercise over a relatively long. time may boost maximal aerobic power by approximately 25%, which is actually equivalent to an improvement of 6 mil/ [kg.min], or approximately 10 to 12 biological years.
The authors stated that: “There seems to be good evidence that the conservation of maximal oxygen intake increases the likelihood that the healthy elderly person will retain functional independence.”
Significant additional benefits seem to be that aerobic exercise may also reduce risks of serious disease, may improve recovery times after injury or illness, and may also help to reduce the risks of falls because of the maintenance of balance, muscle power and coordination.
Information adapted from Maintaining Aerobic Fitness Could Delay Biological Aging By Up To 12 years, Study Shows (Science Daily-April 10, 2008)
Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic Ph.D Licensed Psychologist