What happens to our fitness levels as we age?

Not much; apparently! The natural decline in strength and energy can be held at bay or at least managed with regular upkeep.

A study carried out by Larsson et al on 114 male subjects of varying activity levels concluded that muscular strength continues to develop up to the age of 30, it then stays constant until the age of 50 after we can expect a gradual decline in strength as age increases. Unless we stem the tide through physical maintenance!

There can’t be many people who took up fitness later in life only to regret it.

An older athlete has the fountain of youth at their fingertips!

Balance and Posture:
Time-related issues surrounding physical fitness in older adults include loss of balance and postural misalignment.
Muscle, attached to bone pulls, contracts and shortens over time but many postural issues can be repaired with appropriate exercises.

There are contributors which, over time, may compromise our balance.

The Control Panel: 
When the combined forces of the musculo/skeletal and central nervous system (CNS) join forces, they govern our ability to balance and maintain posture. This combined system forms a communication network that takes sensory information from the CNS, motor information (what our limbs are doing) from the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and sends these messages back to the brain for processing.

Therefore, as we age, any compromise to our CNS (ie eyesight, hearing, temperature etc) or PNS will directly affect our balance and coordination.

At OkoActive we place a great deal of focus on motor fitness and we’ll generally throw at least one curveball into each program just to keep you on your toes!

Motor skills include:

  • Reaction time
  • Speed
  • Balance
  • Spacial awareness
  • Agility and Coordination

In conclusion: As with anything, personal fitness is entirely proportional. We may be wise to enter fewer competitions as we age but there’s no reason at all not continue pushing our personal fitness threshold until we’re thrown onto the scrapheap of life!