I read a great article on ageing on the World Economic Forum written by James Hewitt. The work looks into the health potential we have while ageing vs the actual health exhibited. To do this they looked at the decline in performance of athletes as they age in comparison to the general population.
They found that an athlete hits his genetic maximum around 35 years old but then maintains his health status until 80 years old. One of the graphs showed that an athlete who maintains their health at 80 years old is equivalent to a 40 year old who has not trained or developed their health and fitness.
The study also showed that regardless of age you were able to increase your heath status by putting in place a fitness routine and daily activity plan. This therefore means you will at a functional level be getting younger from the routine. If you follow my instagram you may remember me posting a video of Big Joe who is always around when I am doing my thing as a Battersea Park Personal Trainer. He is almost 90 years old and still smashes out a weights routine every morning –
The article goes on to discuss the negative health implications of sitting down for over 11 hours a day. It also gives some great advice on what you should put in place going forwards and why most people fail to achieve it. Check out the full article here >>>
What Does This Mean For You?
This research is telling you loud and clear you need to be active. If you are below 35-40 then you still have a chance to reach your fitness maximum potential. However, whatever your age and even if you have not ever done exercise the potential for you to dramatically increase health, well being and functionality is waiting for you if you choose to take the right steps. The end of his article where it talks about why most people fail at sustaining exercise because they do too much or do it too hard is a theme I have repeatedly stressed with all my clients and discussed in my book – Change Your Thinking, Change Your Shape.