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Aging Myths Debunked
Photo: Carme Balcells
Myth 1: Middle-age spread and muscle loss are simply part of growing old.
Myth 2: Aerobic capacity drops with age.

The Truth: Muscle loss and a spreading mid-section is mostly the result of decreased physical activity and can happen at any age. As for aerobic capacity (how well the heart and lungs bring oxygen to the muscles, and then how efficiently the muscles use the oxygen to generate energy) this “age-related”decline (as much as 10 percent per decade after age 25) is both preventable and reversible.

In a new study from the University of Washington in Seattle, participants, ages 65-79, were found to need about one-fifth more oxygen for a brisk walk, and their heart's were less efficient at pumping blood and delivering oxygen to the body than younger adults ages 20 to 33.

After both groups were put on a moderate training program of walking /running and cycling for one hour hour three times a week for six months, the older participants showed proportionately greater aerobic improvements.

Aerobic fitness helps lower risk of cardiovascular disease and enhances ability to perform physically demanding jobs, as well as daily tasks. Brisk exercise several hours each week may add years to your life, life to your years.

UC Berkeley Wellness Letter

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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, September/October 2007. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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