Exercise Slows Many of the Consequences of Aging

A mainstream press article on exercise and aging: "As we age, our bodies change in ways that challenge athletic ability. But exercise also can slow down - and in some cases even prevent - some of the physiological ravages of time. ... A lot of things that we thought were just inherent to the aging process and were going to happen no matter what don't really have to happen if you maintain an appropriate lifestyle. ... How much can exercise slow down the ravages of aging? Potentially a lot. It will partially, but not completely, prevent arterial stiffening with age and completely prevent the dysfunction of the arterial lining that develops with age ... Exercise, it turns out, is probably as powerful as any other kind of prevention strategy or treatment that has been assessed so far. ... . For 21 years, researchers at Stanford University have studied the effects of consistent exercise on 284 runners 50 and older. In a 2002 article [they] reported that - 13 years into the study - a control group of 156 similar people who exercised much less on the whole than the runners had a 3.3 times higher death rate than runners as well as higher rates of disabilities. In a 2008 [study] they reported that after 19 years, 15% of runners had died, compared with 34% of the control group. After 21 years, runners had significantly lower disability levels than non-runners; their death rates from cardiovascular events, cancer and neurologic disorders were much lower than in non-runners - 65 of the runners had died of cardiovascular, neurologic and cancer events compared with 98 deaths in the control group."

Link: http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-aging-physiology-20110901,0,5975284.story


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