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Fitness For Older Adults

Posted on: Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Categories: Fitness, Personal trainer

It is never to late to Workout!


The Olympics have had an extremely positive effect on the attitude towards fitness across Britain. Many people who watched athletes perform at their physical peak might have wondered what they could have achieved had they started training in their youth. Middle aged people may suspect it’s too late for them, so not bother exercising at all. Well, people in their middle years might not win any medals for GB, but they can still make a huge difference to their health even if they don’t start exercising until they reach their 50’s.

Front Page News in the Daily Mail Newspaper on 14.08.2012  has highlighted research carried out by the British Heart Foundation published in the medical journal Circulation which shows that even if you don’t start exercising until you’re in your 50’s you can still reduce your chances of suffering from heart disease.

A huge body of research over many years has shown the correlation between a healthy heart and exercise, but it is specifically the anti-inflammatory effect of exercise that leads to the positive protective results as shown by the 10 year study. It is the first time that this anti-inflammatory effect has been confirmed as an essential protective mechanism and furthermore, that the effects are long term which is good news for those taking up exercise for the first time.

The research was led by Dr Mark Hamer, the Associate Professor of Epidemiolgy and Public Health at University College London. Subjects were civil servants with an average age of 49 years when they started exercising. Those who exercised more had lower inflammatory markers in their blood which was shown to be the key mechanism within the link between physical exercise and the lower risk of developing heart disease. This pattern remained in participants who were near to retiring as compared with their more inactive counterparts. It suggests that even if you don’t start exercising until after you retire, you can still benefit.

About 191,000 deaths a year are caused by heart and circulatory disease which amounts to one in three of all the deaths in the UK.  88,000 of those deaths are specifically from coronary hearth disease. The economic cost of these types of health conditions is £30 billion, yet it is, in the main preventable.

All you need to do is two and a half hours of moderate exercise a week and this is enough to lower inflammation of the body. The exercise doesn’t have to be an exhausting session in an intimidating gym. A personal trainer can design a bespoke exercise routine for any middle age person or older adult no matter what their level of fitness. Any health conditions can be considered, so that the routine is safe as well as being effective and of course, the programme will be adapted as you progress (and to ensure you don’t get bored!). Your personal trainer will also be able to recommend integrating other activities into your life, so you’ll hardly notice that you have notched up two and a half hours. A brisk walk, DIY and gardening all count because they raise the heart rate which in turn leads to a multitude of health benefits.