Saturday, December 15, 2012

Exercise as a fountain of youth

One of the reasons I got weight loss surgery is that, as I got older, I started to get creakier. At first I considered that this was just the price of getting older and there was nothing I could do about it. But then I started to wonder if losing weight would help. My doctor said yes so I added it to the Pro list.

And it did help. I got rid of my lower back pain, my stiffness in the morning and a few other things.

But, it turns out that all the exercising I did had some impact as well. I believe this because, as I've not been able to exercise, some of my creakiness has come back as has some of the lower back pain.

So I decided to look it up and see if my experience was unusual or if I was on to something.

What I found out is that it turns out that exercise can combat a lot of the things we just assume have to happen as we get older including memory loss, gaining weight and losing muscle.

There was this one study where they compared the muscles of a 34 year old triathlete, a 74 year old guy who didn't exercise and a 74 year old triathlete. As expected, the 74 year old who didn't exercise had really wasted muscles. But the 74 year old's muscles looked just like the 34 year olds! Now that I did not expect. I expected them to be better than the non-exerciser but not just as good as a 34 year old.

There are other studies that show that introducing exercise to the elderly can increase their muscle mass, balance and flexibility almost as much as what is typically lost each decade.

By the way, Dr Alicia Arbaje, assistant professor of Geriatrics and Gerontology at Johns Hopkins University agrees with me, at least according to WebMD.

As do some other studies.

Oh and exercise is a better predictor of health in the elderly than diet.
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