6 Months of Endurance Training can Reverse 30 Years of Aging

My Dad owned a 1966 Dodge Charger with a 426 Hemi.  As a child, I remember fondly being “pinned” to the back seat during hard acceleration.  And for safety, my Dad always had us wear our seatbelts.

That same year of the Dodge Charger (1966), researchers from the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas, TX) chose a small group (5) of healthy men in their 20s to compare health statistics and the affect of exercise.  They planned to follow up at 30 and 40 year intervals.  Yes, the researchers returned in 1996 and 2006!

In the follow up examinations and testing of all five participants, they compared the results to the 1966 study.  And although this was a small control group, two findings emerged of interest.  First, they found that 3 weeks of bed rest, even at the young age of 20, did more damage to physical conditioning, than 30 years of aging.  And, although the men had all gained body fat over time and their oxygen intake ability declined with age, their maximum cardiovascular function had not changed significantly when performing the exercises.

The most significant finding however is that “one hundred percent of the age-related decline in aerobic power among these five middle-aged men occurring over 30 years was reversed by a 6-month endurance training program.

Want to learn more:

Cardiovascular effects of 1 year of progressive and vigorous exercise training in previously sedentary individuals older than 65 years of age.


A 30-year follow-up of the Dallas Bedrest and Training Study: II. Effect of age on cardiovascular adaptation to exercise training. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11560850

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