Use It or Lose It : Stay Fit and Healthy

Use It or Lose It

by Carole Phillips on 06/26/10

Aging is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and only you can decide the kind of person you'll become.  While the aging process is something we all go through, we have unfortunately come to think that aging means physical and mental deterioration.  This doesn't need to be true.  The biological changes attributed to aging closely resemble the effects of physical inactivity.  Both lists include:

  • decreased cardiovascular fitness
  • decreased muscle mass
  • increased body fat
  • decreased strength and flexibility
  • decreased bone mass
  • decreased metabolic rate
  • poor sleep habits
  • decreased sexual performance
  • decreased mental performance

The human body depends on utilizing oxygen for the production of energy.  The body's ability to transport oxygen efficiently improves with physical training, whether you are young or old.  Studies have shown that a fit seventy-year-old has the same capacity to transport and utilize oxygen as an unfit thirty-year-old.  This suggests that the decrease in oxygen may be less a function of age than of inactivity.

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