In the News: Regular exercise can help stop the biological clock

Keeping fit by jogging or cycling in middle age and beyond slows and reverses the decline in muscle power, balance and coordination in later life, according to a study published in the April edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.


Women begin to lose fitness around the age of 35, with aerobic power falling by up to a half by the age of 60. This loss of fitness can make everyday activities exhausting but regular cardiovascular exercise which strengthens the heart and lungs can compensate for the fall in the body’s ability to use oxygen and generate energy that typically occurs in middle age. Reviewing previous studies on the benefits of regular exercise in middle age and beyond the research team came to the conclusion that a regular exercise programme can slow or reverse the loss of aerobic fitness and this in turn reduces the individual’s biological age. The Government advises that people exercise five times a week for 30 minutes or more and the level of exertion should be enough to raise heart beat to 120 beats a minute or higher, so brisk walking, gardening, housework, dancing and swimming are all recommended. Other evidence shows that regular exercise can ease symptoms of the menopause, boost weight loss and cut the risk of a range of health problems including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and depression.

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