As we age, our fitness and body needs undergo change. What types of exercises and workouts you should do actually depend on your age, physical fitness and medical conditions.
Effects Of Aging On Your Exercising Abilities
As you age, it becomes increasingly difficult for you to jump, jog or run – as energetically as you could do in your younger years. So-much-so, with age, many elderly even are unable to perform daily routine activities such as standing up from a sitting position, getting out of car or climbing stairs.
Read on here to learn why aging reduce your ability to perform the functional movements impacting your abilities to even carry on day-to-day routine activities.
1. Metabolism: Age is one of the most important factors contributing to drop in metabolism rate as we grow old. The basal metabolic rate reduces almost linearly with age. This means you gain fat more easily around your belly (Source 1).
2. Oxygen Consumption Mechanism: The mechanism of oxygen consumption turns inefficient as we age, which causes oxygen consumption rate to decline considerably every decade from 25 to 65 years of age, and thereafter it reduces even more rapidly. Because of this the intense cardiovascular activities become harder to perform as we age (Source 2)
3. Blood Pumping: The aggregate amount of blood pumped by your heart per beat and the capability of the muscles to obtain oxygen from that blood weakens – which impairs your cardiovascular ability.
4. Heart Rate: With age, the people become less responsive to energy stimulating hormones known as catecholamines (such as epinephrine), due to which your maximal heart rate declines and also the ability to perform hard work gets impacted adversely.
5. Muscle Loss: The muscle strength is at its peak around 25 years of age. After 40 years age, the muscle mass and strength begins to decline rapidly. About 25% of the peak strength is lost by the time we reach 65 years age. This happens because of loss in the number of muscle fibers and mass (Source 3).
6. Tendon Ligament: Tendons and ligaments form a mechanism, which works to maintain joint motion and joint stability. As you age, “cross-linkages” formed between soft tissue fibers in these areas increase, and the elasticity & healing capacity of tendons and ligaments decrease. This leads to a loss of 2-4 inches of lower-back and hip flexibility.
7. Bone Density: With aging, the bone density decreases because the calcium content of bones reduces and the matrix inside the bone starts to deteriorate. This results into enhanced risk of osteoporosis or fractures, particularly in women.
How To Reduce The Impact Of Aging?
In order to reduce the impact of aging and maintain your ability to perform day-to-day routine activities, you must exercise.
If you haven’t exercise before or have been physically inactive for a while, begin slowly. Bit by bit gain your strength, endurance, flexibility and balancing ability.
Walking for just 5 to 10 minutes at a time on several days every week is the best way to start. Increase your “walking time at a time” gradually up to 30 minutes. Once you achieve this milestone, you are ready to include more challenging physical activities and exercises into your routine. From this time onwards you can start a basic strength routine. You can also begin an aerobic routine to help you build the strength you need to support your aerobic workouts.