Things get harder as we get older. Many elements of physical performance decline with age – The aging process kinda sucks.
There are a few things you should expect:
- Lower maximal heart rate
- Fewer muscle mitochondria that are also smaller
- Decreased levels of testosterone
- Lower growth hormone production
- Less muscle mass
- Higher body fat (this one is optional)
- Decreased muscular strength
- Fewer blood capillaries
- Decreased VO² Max
All of these elements combine for slower recovery and race times. The hormones are significantly affected by aging and become more noticeable over time: decreased levels of anabolic hormones including testosterone, IGF-1, and human growth hormone amounts others.
These very hormones that brought the robust changes during your teenage years are greatly diminished. These lowered levels lead to less muscle mass, lower sexual libido, and the need for more recovery time between exercise sessions.
As an average a runner can expect an performance decrease of about .7% per annum – with exaggerated drops occurring between age 40 and 60. These can be mitigated with proper maintenance, good practice and diet, but it is coming for us all.
Following the standard diet and exercise regime leads the average person to a 30-40% decrease of muscle mass by age 70.
Keep in mind that an article on aging and exercise published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in 2014 concluded that:
“Decades of research support the fact that much age-related deterioration is the result of the effects of sedentary lifestyles and the development of medical conditions rather than of aging itself.”
So yes… that means you can do much better than average. So do it! We are not passive bystanders to our biological clock.
Prolong our life, muscle, happiness, sex drive and running careers. Remember your health goes beyond just foot care alone.
Thanks for reading.