The Ageing Process And How To Slow It - Part 1

Believe it or not, controlling your biological age can slow the ageing process down.

I’m sure you’ve well and truly heard that our population is ageing due mainly to our booming “Baby Boomers.” Should this trend continue (as is expected), it is predicted that people aged 65 years and over will grow from around the current figure of 13%, to 25% of the population by 2051 – I might well be still around to experience this!

This growing trend will inevitably lead to an increase in costs associated with the care and health challenges of a rapidly growing aged population. What I believe will accelerate the number of aged people is the current obesity problem that we and the world are currently experiencing. The obesity issue will have the effect of reducing the life expectancy of our current younger generation thereby accelerating the ratio of aged population to younger population! Hmm … a catch 22??

Lets see when the so-called “ageing” process kicks in. It’s about the 30-year mark, and with each decade it “speeds” up. Is it the same for everyone? No it’s not. What adds to the ageing process are external factors. These are:

1.    De-conditioning from physical inactivity

2.    Lifestyle conditions

3.    Disease states

4.    Injury states

All of these can contribute to AND advance our ageing process. But there is hope, so don’t despair right now.

As you may well know, we have two “ages” – our biological age and our chronological age. Our biological age refers to the functioning and efficiency of our body’s biological and physiological processes. Our chronological age documents our life according to time.

We have no control over our chronological age, BUT, we can control our biological age, and by doing so, slow the ageing process down.

Lets take me for example. At age 50 I was tested for my biological age, something I had wanted to know for some time but never got around to it. Inside of me I felt young, but wasn’t sure how young. The results were very pleasing – I had a biological age of 39! So apart from my thinning hairline, I was in pretty good shape, and most people thought I was only around 40 only to be surprised when I told them I was 50 (turning 57 soon!).

There was and is no secret to how I achieved this. It was simply a lifestyle choice, one that we all have. I chose to remain active with sport and exercise and to eat healthy. Yes I do have the occasional “binge,” and I would tell others to do so as it acts as both a reminder as to why you don’t eat/drink that way and as a metabolic boost/shock to ones body! Just don’t go overboard or get addicted (again!).

So what can exercise do to enhance quality of life?

·       Slow down the changing physiology that occurs with age

·       Muscle (even in the elderly) is adaptive and retains responsiveness to strength training

·       Muscle morphology changes

·       Bone health can improve

·       Mental depression and self-efficacy can improve

·       Improve balance

·       Increased aerobic power

·       Improvements in muscle flexibility

·       Allows an ageing individual to perform daily activities and extend functional independence

At Multi Peak Fitness Wanaka it’s all about getting fit and toned, eliminating your pain and putting quality back into your life. As the saying goes – “Don’t put off to tomorrow what can be done today.” Start being more active and eating healthy with little steps at a time - "Change-Challenge-Achieve!"