FACTORS THAT AFFECT FITNESS AFTER 40
AGING After the age of 40, we experience significant changes in our physical and functional characteristics. The most effective way to delay, or even to prevent some of the aging related consequences, is to incorporate exercise into our daily lives. People who start to exercise late in life can reap the benefits of good health, a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine said. Researchers tracked the health of nearly 3,500 Britons whose average age was 64, for more than eight years. People who had a record of sustained and regular exercise, meaning vigorous activity at least once a week boosted the likelihood of healthy aging sevenfold compared to a lifestyle of persistent inactivity. The gain among newcomers to exercise was roughly triple. Significant health benefits were seen among participants who became physically active relatively late in life, the paper said. Healthy aging was rated by an absence of major diseases and disabilities, good mental health (the lack of depression or cognitive decline) and the ability to maintain social connections. Proof of this study is evident at Avalon Woods on a daily basis.
OSTEOPOROSIS As we age, our bones lose their mineral content, resulting in a significant reduction in bone strength and density. This can lead to osteoporosis, otherwise known as "the bone disease". Osteoporosis automatically increases the probability of fractures since the bones become less dense. According to Osteoporosis Canada, Osteoporosis causes 80% of all fractures in individuals over the age of 50. Furthermore, Osteoporosis causes 70-90% of 30,000 hip fractures annually.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT OSTEOPOROSIS? Exercise. The appropriate type of exercise for at least 2-3 times per week can increase bone mineral density. The sooner you begin working out, the better. You have the opportunity to prevent Osteoporosis.
DECREASE IN MUSCLE STRENGTH The onset of the fourth decade of life has negative consequences for our muscles. Some of these include: *Loss of muscle fibers which results in shrinkage of muscle. *Loss of muscle energy stores, known as mitochondria. *Loss of neural signal sensitivity which results in slower contraction.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT MUSCLE LOSS? Exercise. Strength training slows down the process of muscle loss. In addition, with strength training, you can gain muscle and become stronger.
BODY COMPOSITION One of the most obvious changes that are caused by the aging process is the alteration of our body composition. Hormonal changes are responsible for an increase in body fat.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT WEIGHT GAIN? Exercise. With aerobic and strength training, you can beat both increased fat accumulation and muscle loss accordingly.
CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM Both the heart and lungs become less efficient as we age. That means that the heart puts more effort into its physiological function which eventually leads to an increase in cardiac muscle. Likewise, your lungs need to work harder to supply your body with oxygen. Consequently, the deterioration of both heart and lungs leads to poor endurance.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO IMPROVE YOUR HEART AND LUNG FUNCTION? Exercise. Aerobic training improves the function of your cardiovascular system. It also maintains and/or increases your maximum oxygen consumption (V02max).
POOR FLEXIBILITY AND STIFFNESS Flexibility decreases dramatically as we age, leading to stiffness and discomfort. This is mainly caused by the thickening of the tissue that exists around the joints. In addition, cartilage depletion plus a reduction in muscle mass will result in a decrease in range of motion.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY? Exercise. Stretching can maintain and significantly increase your range of motion making your life much easier. Why struggle when picking something up off the floor?
BALANCE A decrease in strength, coordination and flexibility results in a compromised balance which increases the risk of falls. Poor balance falls cause 87% of all fractures.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO INCREASE BALANCE? Exercise. Research studies have shown that strength and balance training make you less susceptible to falls.
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL BENEFITS OF EXERCISE Regular exercise improves both the physiological and psychological aspect of your life. Specifically, regular physical activity will: • • • • • • • •
Help you sleep better Reduce your stress Improve your emotional state and overall mood Increase your energy levels Increase your self-esteem Reduce the risk of depression Help you live independently Allow you to have fun and meet new people
AVALON WOODS FITNESS FOR AGES 40+ 800 ISLINGTON AVENUE ETOBICOKE, ONTARIO M8Z 6A1 416-233-3400 avalonwoods.com
How to fight back against the aging body.