Exercise Can Make You Younger

Exercise can make you younger

A new study says that you can turn back the clock on your age and exercise can make you younger. At least, it can lower your fitness age which is the measure of how well your body works.

A study was done at the National Senior Games in Minnesota which takes place every two years and is a competition for athletes older than 50. The games include a variety of sports, from track and field to triathlon. They found that the athletes participating there had a fitness age more than 20 years younger than their chronological age. This year they had 5,000 participants that took place in the study and the average age of the people competing was 68 but their average fitness age was 43.

Tony Diamond was one of the participants in the games. Every morning her goes to a local park and walks fast for an hour. Then, the retired navy captain runs for an hour. Two or three times a week, he goes to a gym for muscle training. He won three medals at these games in the road race and the race walk for his age group – ages 85 to 89. He said, “My current age is 86 years old, and my fitness age is 44. I think I have such a good number because I did a lot of exercise during my life. I have been exercising since I was a little boy.”

Helen White is a basketball player and she also teaches the sport to senior groups and she plays pickleball. Pickleball uses a racquet and is part badminton, tennis and table tennis. She won a silver medal in the pickleball at the 2013 National Senior Games. “I’m 62 years old and my fitness results showed that I was 32 years.”

Pamela Peeke is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland and she worked on the study with Ulrik Wisloff at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Mr. Wisloff developed a fitness calculator and Ms. Peeke explains how it works:

“You simply input very straightforward data. We ask you questions; your age, your weight, how much you work out, your waist size, heart rate, blood pressure and it goes on. And then you press a button, and you find out what your actual fitness age is.”

An online calculator is available for anyone to use for free. Ms.Peek says there are benefits from using this test. “This kind of testing, an assessment of fitness age was actually very valid and it helps us understand the benefits of being fit and healthy.”

Ms. Peeke is a member of the board organization that runs the National Senior Games. She says that many of the competitors did not start training until later in life, like Helen White. “It really wasn’t until I turned 50 that I decided to become much more serious and focused about play and just make sure it is a daily part of my life.”

Pamela Peeke says anyone can lower their fitness age. “It doesn’t matter how old you are – 20, 25, 30, who cares. All of us can lower our fitness age by staying right on top of it, by taking good care of ourselves, especially with physically activity.” She says it is never too early – or too late – to start exercising and receiving its benefits.

So, what’s your fitness age? Did you try the link to the online calculator to see? Are you convinced that you can lower your fitness age now – at any age- it’s not too late to start! I’d love to hear what your fitness age is and what your  plans are to lower it in the comments here. And, to make sure you don’t miss one of my posts, just subscribe here so you always know when I publish a new one.

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I have been an International Sports Science Association Certified Personal Trainer since 2009, a Certified Boxing Fitness Trainer and I love helping women over 40 stay fit and healthy or getting their health and fitness back after spending all their time taking care of others.

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