If you're a baby boomer and practice a regular exercise routine, you're one of the twenty percent who do what the other eighty percent don't. If you're one of the eighty percent, you're about to find out several astounding motivational reasons to get a move on.
The number one reason you should exercise is people who do exercise don't need as many pills, machines, doctors, nurses, therapists, specialists, co-pays and prodders as people who don't exercise. If you don't like having all those hands on you at the airport, just wait until you get to the doctor's office. Eeesh!
Some biologists have said that aging has been programmed by evolution to avoid over population of the planet. By exercising you can decide to be one who sticks around longer and let somebody else de-populate for a change. From the age of 45-75 years with weekly adherence to a fitness program, a well preserved 65 year old can outperform a sedentary 25 year old.
As we get older, the tissues that comprise the heart, lungs, arteries and veins weaken. Exercising slows that deterioration by keeping higher levels of blood, oxygen and hormones flowing. Due to increased heart function, nutrients feed all your tissue cells so they can replace themselves instead of dying off and not being replaced.
A study was done for NASA in 1966 to find out the effects of prolonged space travel on humans. Five 20 year old men were assigned bed rest for 20 days. Their aerobic capacity was measured before and after the bed rest of 20 days. All experienced a dramatic loss in muscle tone and aerobic capacity. They became out of shape. After only 8 weeks of serious training all five were able to recover and even surpass their previous starting level of fitness. They got back into shape. Now if you are thinking "yeah, they were only twenty, I'm over fifty," the follow up study gives you food, or exercise, for thought.
The study was repeated 30 years later with the same five men now 50-51 years old. Baseline cardio and fitness levels were measured and were again assigned 20 days of bed rest to simulate "out of shape". Two entered a walking program, two did a jogging program and one chose bicycling. Their exercise programs were slowly increased to a level of intensity for 4 and 5 hours a week exactly like was done 30 years earlier for six months. Then it was time to re-measure their aerobic and cardiovascular fitness levels.
It is no surprise to report that all five middle aged subjects had restored their baseline fitness levels to what they were 30 years before as healthy 20 year olds. So if you think that exercise and fitness is for kids, think of yourself as a 20 year old with 45 years of experience!
Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.