Friday, January 9, 2015

What Is The BEST Anti Aging Regimen?? FITNESS IS... SPECIFICALLY CYCLING!!!!

How Exercise Keeps Us Young

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Active older people resemble much younger 
people physiologically, according to a new 
study of the effects of exercise on aging. 
The findings suggest that many of our 
expectations about the inevitability of 
physical decline with advancing years 
may be incorrect and that how we age 
is, to a large degree, up to us.

Aging remains a surprisingly mysterious 

process. A wealth of past scientific 
research has shown that many bodily 
and cellular processes change in 
undesirable ways as we grow older. 
But science has not been able to establish 
definitively whether such changes result 
primarily from the passage of time — 
in which case they are inevitable for 
anyone with birthdays — or result at 
least in part from lifestyle, meaning that they 
are mutable.

This conundrum is particularly true in 

terms of inactivity. Older people tend 
to be quite sedentary nowadays, and 
being sedentary affects health, making 
it difficult to separate the effects of not
moving from those of getting older.

In the new study, which was published 

this week in The Journal of Physiology
scientists at King’s College London and
 the University of Birmingham in England 
decided to use a different approach.

They removed inactivity as a factor in 

their study of aging by looking at the 
health of older people who move quite a bit.

“We wanted to understand what happens 

to the functioning of our bodies as we 
get older if we take the best-case 
scenario,” said Stephen Harridge, 
senior author of the study and director 
of the Centre of Human and Aerospace 
Physiological Sciences at King’s College London.

To accomplish that goal, the scientists 

recruited 85 men and 41 women aged 
between 55 and 79 who bicycle regularly. 
The volunteers were all serious recreational 
riders but not competitive athletes. 
The men had to be able to ride at least 
62 miles in six and a half hours and the 
women 37 miles in five and a half hours, 
benchmarks typical of a high degree of 
fitness in older people.

The scientists then ran each volunteer 

through a large array of physical and 
cognitive tests. The scientists determined 
each cyclist’s endurance capacity, muscular 
mass and strength, pedaling power, 
metabolic health, balance, memory function, 
bone density and reflexes. They also had the volunteers complete the so-called Timed Up 
and Go test, during which someone stands 
up from a chair without using his or her 
arms, briskly walks about 10 feet, turns, 
walks back and sits down again.

The researchers compared the results of 

cyclists in the study against each other 
and also against standard benchmarks 
of supposedly normal aging. If a particular 
test’s numbers were similar among the 
cyclists of all ages, the researchers considered, 
then that measure would seem to be more 
dependent on activity than on age.

As it turned out, the cyclists did not show 

their age. On almost all measures, their 
physical functioning remained fairly stable 
across the decades and was much closer 
to that of young adults than of people their 
age. As a group, even the oldest cyclists 
had younger people’s levels of balance, 
reflexes, metabolic health and memory 

And their Timed Up and Go results were 

exemplary. Many older people require 
at least 7 seconds to complete the task, 
with those requiring 9 or 10 seconds 
considered to be on the cusp of frailty, 
Dr. Harridge said. But even the oldest 
cyclists in this study averaged barely 
5 seconds for the walk, which is “well 
within the norm reported for healthy 
young adults,” the study authors write.

Some aspects of aging did, however, 

prove to be ineluctable. The oldest cyclists 
had less muscular power and mass than those 
in their 50s and early 60s and considerably 
lower overall aerobic capacities. Age does 
seem to reduce our endurance and 
strength to some extent, Dr. Harridge said, 
even if we exercise.

But even so, both of those measures were 

higher among the oldest cyclists than would 
be considered average among people aged 
70 or above.

All in all, the numbers suggest that aging is 

simply different in the active.

“If you gave this dataset to a clinician and 

asked him to predict the age” of one of the 
cyclists based on his or her test results, Dr. 
Harridge said, “it would be impossible.” On 
paper, they all look young.

Of course, this study is based on a single 

snapshot of an unusual group of older adults, 
Dr. Harridge said. He and his colleagues plan 
to retest their volunteers in five and 10 years, 
which will provide better information about the ongoing effects of exercise on aging.

But even in advance of those results, said Dr. Harridge, himself almost 50 and an avid 
this study shows that “being physically active 
makes your body function on the inside more 
like a young person’s.”

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