Proven to protect against a wide array of diseases, exercise may be the most powerful anti-aging intervention known to scienceResearchers shed light on how exercise preserves physical fitness during agingExercise preserves physical fitness during aging through AMPK and mitochondrial dynamics. As we age, our fitness drops off faster, and recovery takes longer. Our training needs to adapt so that it stays fun, while still being effective.
Sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass) and dynapenia (loss of strength) are the result of ageing, and are the most common cause for age-related declines in athletic performanceAgeing and recovery after resistance exercise-induced muscle damage: Current evidence and implications for future research.
Most training programs are aimed at the younger athlete. They are not suited for veteran athletes, and certainly not designed for people who are looking to start exercise as a way to counter the declining health that comes with age.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published comprehensive guidelines for exerciseWHO Guidelines On Physical Activity And Sedentary Behaviour. For people over the age of 65, they recommend:
Older adults should do at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity; or at least 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity; or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous- intensity activity throughout the week, for substantial health benefits.
Older adults should also do muscle- strengthening activities at moderate or greater intensity that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these provide additional health benefits.
Globally there are more than 1 billion adults aged over 60 years and this number is forecast to increase to 2 billion by 2050Impact of physical activity programs and services for older adults: a rapid review.
Training programs for athletes in their prime focus on building muscle and fitness, and following strict protocols to allow the effected muscle groups fairly exact periods of recovery. These protocols to not apply to the older athlete, who is constantly fighting sarcopenia and dynapenia. The older athlete is better off exercising daily, alternating between more and less intense workouts as indicated by their HRV metrics.
Using HRV to maximise performance for veteran athletes is proven to be highly effective.
Day to day increases in resting heart rate (RHR) and a decline in RMSSD are signs to exercise with less intensity. We have developed algorithms that provide reliable recommendations for training that are available to subscribers, and new users during the trial period.
Resistance training is proven highly effective in countering the loss of bone density that also occurs with ageing.
People who are looking to start exercise to counter the effects of ageing should take care that they are not at risk of a cardiac event. A proper medical check-up is advised.
The HRV metics will provide clues as to what the medical check-up will reveal. Take an ECG reading, and any irregularity in the pattern may be an indication that exercise should be taken with a high degree of caution. Similarly, significant day to day variations in the RMSSD metric can be a signal that the heart is at risk. A significant variation would be an RMSSD well in excess of 150, followed by a RMSSD below 30. To ensure that the readings are reliable, please ensure that the hear rate monitor belt is properly fitted, and that the electrodes are in proper contact with the skin.
Members of the HRV Health community, using the recovery recommendations that the Platform provides, are reversing the effects of ageing.
You can too.