Aging & What You Can Do About It
By the time most of us reach the age of 50 or 60 we tend to accept the negative effects of aging as a fact of life that we have little or no control over.
It is true that we can not stop the calender from marching ahead at what seems to be a faster and faster pace, however, recent studies have shown that we can alter the rate at which our bodies progress through our life cycle.
We now have a better understanding of why some people tend to age much faster than others.
There is a large body of scientific evidence that suggests that we can slow down and even reverse the symptoms of aging. In fact many of us can be in better health in our 70's than we were in our 50's.
Recent studies indicate that between the ages of 30 & 70 many of the symptoms & conditions that were traditionally associated with normal aging are in fact the result of sedentary lifestyles.
Evaluating one's strength, endurance, mobility & cardio-vascular-pulmonary performance before and after a one month period of complete bed rest can be equated to 30 years of aging.
The good news is that regular exercise incorporated into our lifestyle can improve our heart & respiratory function, lower our blood pressure, increase our strength, improve bone density, improve flexibility, quicken our reaction time, reduce body fat, increase muscle mass, and reduce our susceptibility to depression & disease.
Studies have shown that regular exercise by middle aged & elderly people can set back the clock 20-40 years when compared to those who do little or no exercise. Test results show that no matter when a person starts to exercise, significant improvement can be achieved.
Older people can achieve the same percentage gains in performance as the young, according to Dr. H.A. deVries, past director of the Andrus Gerontology Center at the University of Southern California and a respected pioneer in the field.
In one study of more than 200 men & women aged 56 to 87, "dramatic changes" were observed after just 6 weeks of exercising 3 to 5 times a week. Study participants became as fit and energetic as people 20 to 30 years younger.
Regardless of our present age, exercise & physical activity is the best thing that we can do for ourselves to counteract the effects of aging.
Dr. Everett L. Smith, director of the Biogerontology Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin has shown that among once sedentary women in their 50's who participated in an aerobic dance program for 6 years, fitness improved by 23% and they experienced none of the functional declines typically seen with increasing age! This group appears to have stopped the clock at an age when functional declines are usually apparent.
Dr. Smith also compared bone loss among women in their 80's. With those women that did seated exercises for 30 minutes, 3 times a week for 3 years, bone mineral actually increased by 2.29%, whereas in a similar group of inactive women, bone loss averaged 3.28%.
Various studies have shown that when our bones are taxed from exercise they grow stronger and denser and more resistant to fracture
Dr. Harris from the Center for the Study of Aging at Albany Medical College, found that when nerve cells are deprived of stimuli they atrophy, suggesting that stimulation of the central nervous system by physical activity may retard the loss of nerve cells in the brain and elsewhere. Aerobic exercise has been shown to enhance blood flow to various parts of the brain as well as to increase the speed with which nerve messages travel through the brain.
In a study, at Purdue, among previously sedentary middle aged men who took part in a 4 month exercise & fitness program, a significant improvement was noted in the mental processes controlled by the part of the brain (left hemisphere) responsible for logical reasoning and math. The men who exercised 3 times per week, were compared on 10 tests of mental ability to a similar group of men who remained sedentary.
Aerobic exercise helps control Type II (Late Onset) diabetes because it aids in the metabolism of sucrose.
Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart, helps prevent the build up of cholesterol, improves the functioning of the liver, pancreas & most vital organs.
A recent study at the University of California that evaluated data from more than 5,000 women over the age of 65, concluded that there is scientific evidence that exercise is good for your memory.
Aerobic exercise brings additional oxygen & glucose to the brain, both of which are crucial to brain function. The body responds by forming new capillaries to bring the additional blood to nerve cells and by boosting brain chemicals that protect neurons and strengthen new neuronal connections. Exercise also promotes attention & alertness, both of which are needed to get information into your memory.
Human Growth Hormone and the lack of it is believed to contribute to the aging process. In our 50's most people stop producing HGH and the aging process accelerates as the rate of cellular reproduction, growth and repair slows. The good news is that exercise also aids in the production of Human Growth Hormone which in turn helps us to maintain and develop our muscles, strength and stamina.
Exercise is clearly the best weapon we have to combat disease, to slow down and or reverse the effects of aging. It is no wonder that the experts in the field believe that exercise is the closest thing we have to a Fountain of Youth.
Research has proven how regular exercise relates to the aging process and how it can improve your quality of life.
At Be Fit Over Fifty™ we realize that in order to reap the benefits we must actually exercise on a regular basis. We also believe that our age appropriate, enjoyable and effective exercise programs will help you succeed because it is so convenient & easy to do. There is no expensive equipment to buy, no membership fees, no drugs, no need to even leave the privacy of your own home. "Be Fit Over Fifty programs are like having a personal trainer at home."
When used regularly and in conjunction with a healthy diet the Be Fit Over Fifty™ programs will help you to control type II diabetes, prevent cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, lower your blood pressure, relieve stress, and help you to minimize the negative effects that aging can have on the body. You can improve your strength, flexibility, and overall fitness level if you exercise with the appropriate program at least 3 times per week.
If you would like to challenge the aging process and improve your fitness level, Be Fit Over Fifty™ has several programs that can enable you to maintain an active, independent lifestyle. For a description of the programs listed below, just click on the program button.
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