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Fixin' Healthcare

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Lifestyle Chronicles - Get Out, Get Moving, Don't Stop

It is widely recognized and generally assumed that aging is associated with decreased exercise capacity. However, some athletes who maintain training have performed in masters competition at near their peak of an earlier age. Research at the University of Washington demonstrated that six months of physical training for two groups of men and women, one at ages mid-60s to late 70s and the other in their 20s and eartly 30s, abolished the disparity in exercise capacity between the groups (J. Susie Woo, M.D., Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 7 March 2006).

The older group increased peak work output by 29%, due to increased oxygen delivery and exercise efficiency. The younger group improved exercise efficiency only 2% but they boosted their peak oxygen consumption. These observations indicate that some of the decline in exercise capacity with aging may not be inevitable but results from decreased fitness that can be changed with training. So much for assumptions!

These were some of my thoughts while transversing the 10K course over the Cooper River Bridge. It was a great weekend with a Childrens' Fitness Festival and Runs on Friday, and the Bridge Run on Saturday. Don't ask me how or why over 47,000 people registered and 33,742 finished the course. The 14,000 prodigal runners/walkers will be welcome next year with everyone better trained.

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