Lifelong exercise preserves your oxygen uptake into old age (1). Your oxygen uptake declines by as much as 40% in healthy males and females spanning from 20 to 70 years of age (2). Indeed, individuals who have partaken in lifelong exercise often have the same oxygen uptake as a sedentary individual four decades younger (3).
So what does all this mean for you?
- Your cardiovascular fitness will be better the longer you are exercising.
- As you get older your fitness declines if you do not continue to exercise.
- You will have similar fitness levels to a person 40 years younger than you if you partake in exercise all your life.
Don’t forget the social benefits of engaging with people your own age, it’s about exercising but it’s also about enjoyment.
- Aåstrand, P.O., 1956. Human physical fitness with special reference to sex and age. Physiological reviews, 36(3), pp.307-335.
- Schneider, J., 2013. Age dependency of oxygen uptake and related parameters in exercise testing: an expert opinion on reference values suitable for adults. Lung, 191(5), pp.449-458.
- Booth, F.W., Roberts, C.K. and Laye, M.J., 2011. Lack of exercise is a major cause of chronic diseases. Comprehensive physiology, 2(2), pp.1143-1211.