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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

After the Age of 45 years, Fitness Levels Dramatically Drop

Fitness levels are affected by age. A new study in the October 26th issue of Archives of Internal Medicine notes that an age-related decline occurs in fitness levels for both men and women. This decrease accelerates after the age of 45 years and is more pronounced in men. However, the results of the study indicate that those individuals who remain physically active, maintain a normal body mass index, and abstain from smoking have significantly greater fitness levels and better health across the adult life span than those persons who do not follow these lifestyle habits.

In their report, the researchers reiterate that low levels of cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality, impaired ability to function, decreased levels of independence, and poor quality of life. They add that the loss of independence, which is correlated with a fitness level of 5.1 METs or less as designated by the US Social Security Administration, will occur at a younger age due to the increasing prevalence of obesity and physical inactivity in the general population.

The researchers indicate that a strength of their investigation was the use of large subject samples characterized by a diverse age range. The data was collected from 3, 429 women and 16, 889 men, aged 20-96 years, who participated in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study from 1974-2006. Subjects underwent between 2 to 33 health examinations and performed graded exercise treadmill tests to determine cardiorespiratory fitness levels. A limitation of the study, as noted by the investigators, was that the cohort was comprised mostly of participants who had access to health care, were white, well-educated, and of middle-to upper-socioeconomic status.

The results of the study confirm the necessity of engaging in regular physical activity, smoking cessation efforts, and measures to maintain body weight throughout adulthood.

Note: Before beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current routine, a physician's approval should be obtained, especially for older adults and those at risk for or who currently have chronic health conditions.

Arch Intern Med. 2009;169{19}:1781-1787.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another great posting and another bit of data to show that, when it comes to health, prevention is the better than treatment.

October 29, 2009 at 10:17 PM 

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