Aging is a fact of life, and with it come certain physical changes. But a new study shows that decreased capacity for physical activity is not a necessary byproduct of aging. The key is to keep moving.
The study, published in a March edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, measured oxygen consumption and debt and exercise efficiency among older (ages 65-79) and younger (ages 20-33) study subjects, before and after a six-month course of exercise therapy that included 90-minutes of aerobic exercise and stretching three times per week. While the younger participants had predictably better exercise efficiency at the study’s onset, at its conclusion, the older participants showed greater response to training.
“Older age is associated with a decreased exercise efficiency and an increase in the oxygen cost of exercise, which contribute to a decreased exercise capacity,” the study authors wrote. “These age-related changes are reversed with exercise training, which improves efficiency to a greater degree in the elderly than in the young.”