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Improving athleticism as we age

RunnerA Brazilian study found that how easily a person could get off the floor is a direct link to their longevity. This is one of several recent studies that claim exercise, as we get older, is important. Doctor Michael Joyner in an online Outside Magazine article states that including exercises such as jumping rope, push-ups, sit-ups, climbers, and burpees can improve lifespan.

In the Outside Magazine article Dr. Joyner writes, “Athletes who undergo low volume explosive training, paired with endurance training, produced significant gains in strength, power and endurance performance.”

Dr Joyner goes on to say that as we get older, we settle into a routine and focus on one sport. As a result there’s a loss of “athleticism.”

There’s evidence to suggest that training with a variety of body fitness exercises improves overall conditioning and thereby improving performance in your sport of choice. The doctor points to a study in which the performance of elite mountain runners declines more slowly with age in comparison to runners because instead of just running at a fixed rate, mountain runners build strength by running uphill and improve balance and agility on the downhill.

Master runners also saw an improvement of six percent in their running economy when they incorporated leg strength training into their program. Dr Joyner states, “This data is consistent with the idea that instead of focusing in on the same old activity or exercise program, moving into new territory may be of prime importance as we age.”

This “new territory” means including exercises outside of your normal routine such as core workouts, Pilates, yoga, and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). While this type of training may take away time from your sport of choice, more and more evidence supports the fact that you’ll improve performance and increase your lifespan. Isn’t that worth it?

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