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Lifelong Endurance Exercise Slows Decline From Aging

New research supports age-defying benefits of exercise.

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Endurance exercise

Share this good news with everyone: Lifelong exercise may indeed be an elixir of youth. A data review that looked at masters athletes and the relationship between lifelong endurance exercise and age-related physical decline suggests that if exercise levels are kept consistently high across the life span, typical age-related decline may be slowed. For example, lung and heart function, the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen, and capillary density in skeletal muscles may remain robust over the years. However, consistent physical activity does not alter other factors, such as the age-related decline in maximum heart rate.

The findings were published in Sports Medicine (2020; 50 [4]).


See also: How HIIT Helps Endurance Athletes Improve Performance


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Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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