… and be at your very best!
How many times have you heard the phrase, “I’m past my prime, I just can’t do that.” Many people beyond a certain age firmly believe that most forms of physical activity are best reserved for the young and agile. Many hang up their running shoes for water aerobics or a 30-minute TV show while slowly pedaling on the recumbent bike.
(Water aerobics is definitely an effective method of weight management and routine physical activity for many, many people – the recumbent bike is not.)
Nonetheless, many individuals may be throwing in the towel too early, according to an investigative report by The New York Times. The report detailed the plight of the aging athlete, particularly runners, and the notion that aged new runners are often become quite skilled surpassing the aged, yet seasoned runner.
For example, if you have been running since your twenties and are now in your fifties, you may not run as well as a friend, who is also in their fifties, but has just begun their running career. The concept is linked to the build-up of injuries that occur over time that can slow down seasoned runners as they age.
Even more interesting was the observation of the performance of the athletes that began their running careers at age 65. A former world record-holder in sprinting, Kozo Haraguchi ran a 100-meter spring in 22.04 seconds at age 95 and two months later he broke the record at 21.69 seconds. He began jogging at 65 and sprinting at age 75.
Researchers have trouble pinning down evidence that makes this theory true because so many of the top athletes retire at a younger age. It makes a good case for giving due attention to rest and recovery if you want to maintain your abilities throughout the lifespan, but it is also a reason to never fear trying something new – regardless of age.
Studies continue, but at this point, Dr. Hirofumi Tanaka, an exercise researcher at The University of Texas, told The NY Times, “[At this point] nobody has the answer.”