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Fitness at over 50

Fitness at over 50Maintaining fitness can become harder as we get older, busy lifestyles, family commitments and genuinely feeling the need to slow down your day to day routines.
As we age our bodies change, we find ourselves not being able to perform some of the tasks we used to in our younger days, we become less flexible, muscles become weaker and our bone density decreases.

Age can be associated with a gradual deterioration in both physiological and psychological functioning, age related changes include:

  • Skeletal – There is a gradual loss of bone due to bone related hormone concentrations, dietary deficiencies and a decline in physical activity.
  • Neuromuscular – Neuromuscular changes in strength and power occur in response to ageing, peak strength occurs in the 30’s and stays relatively consistent until the 50s. Without a plan of action, by the seventh decade of life you can expect a 30% decline in available strength and a 40% reduction in muscle cross sectional area. This is due to age related sarcopenia (muscle wasting), a decline in hormones, a decline in protein synthesis (ability to build muscle).
  • Cardiorespiratory – cardiorespiratory functions declines in response to ageing, there is a reduction in the body’s ability to take in, transport and utilize oxygen to working muscles. The heart is the most important muscle in the body we must continue to use it to keep it strong and help avoid problems like heart disease. Our arteries begin to lose their elasticity, become thickened and calcify, Lung function also changes with a advancing age, the stiffening of the thorax, loss of lung elasticity.
  • Body composition – After 35 we tend to progressively add weight, this is due to change in body shape, it is generally accepted that a person’s body fat increases and lean muscle tissue decreases with age, engaging in a programme of regular exercise can help maintain a desirable levels of body fat.
  • Posture & Balance – As we get older it is important to do exercises to help promote better posture, balance and mobility.
  • Emotional and Mental Well being – Regular exercise helps to release endorphins which contribute to the ‘feel good factor’ and can lead to creating a more positive attitude to some age related symptoms.