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Fitness Level Change

Fitness levels decline with age and accelerate after age 45 in men and women. But staying at a healthy weight and engaging in regular physical activity can help.

The population is aging and is becoming more obese.  It is well documented that the cardiorespiratory fitness of men and women declines with age and that body composition and physical activity are related to cardiorespiratory fitness.

Low fitness levels increase the risk of diseases and interfere with the ability of older adults to function independently.

Although fitness levels decline over time, cardiorespiratory fitness declines more rapidly after age 45, and the decline was greater for men than for women, researchers say.

In addition, being active, keeping a normal BMI, and not smoking are associated with higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness during the adult life span. 

Body mass index is a widely used calculation based on a person's height and weight. A person with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, and a BMI of 30 and higher is considered obese.

Because increasing rates of obesity and low levels of physical activity have been observed in the general population, more men and women will reach the fitness level designated by the Social Security Administration as representing disability.

"These data indicate the need for physicians to recommend to their patients the necessity to maintain their weight, engage in regular aerobic activity, and abstain from smoking," say researchers from the University of Houston.

"The finding that BMI and a habitual level of physical activity are important determinants of (cardiorespiratory fitness) raises a lifestyle concern for the older adult population," the researchers write.

This article was provided by Transform Your Body LLC
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