Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Mirror Mirror - and Fangs for the memory

Lets face it there is just no fitness trend, superfood, supplement or single technical innovation that will halt age-related deterioration.  A fact that is hammered home each time I pull on my running shoes or look into the mirror.  Some would say that these are two activities that I perform too often.  Of course I dispute this, the latter, if I do over indulge is only because I don't recognise that old bloke looking back at me.

At one time turning 40 would be perceived as having one foot in the grave.  I remember receiving a birthday card that said 'Don't grow up - It's a trap'. A trap it maybe, but a trap that can be skirted, as most of these age related declines can be delayed and possibly reversed through regular intense exercise.

Although a study from the Office for National Statistics concluded that people aged 40 - 59 are the least happy and most anxious in society (they also concluded that this trend started to reverse as you entered your 60's - so I'm now obviously running that road to happiness). Countless studies have found that exercise can help to improve wellbeing.

And, according to Sport England the biggest increase in sports participation in the past decade has been among the 45 - 54 age group and running is up 97% among over 55's.

Whether these people are all new to sport or returning to sport following a lay off, as they have a little more leisure time perhaps (family grown up) or may have had a health scare, for example, is unclear. But the ranks of those of us that have tried to maintain our participation are definitely being added to by these 'new comers'

In his book 'Play On' Jeff Bercovici explores how aging athletes stay at the top of their sport, defying the perceived limits of age and points out that some professional athletes actually live longer than the general public.  Such as Tour de France cyclists having an average life span that is eight years longer than the norm.  The book claims that looking into the world of elite athletes is like looking into the future for the rest of us.  As the world of elite sports use tools and technology most of us have not even heard of yet.

Of course, getting older does mean that you have to adapt your training to suit and train as they say 'smarter' and Bruce Tulloh's book 'Running at 40, is worth a look at.  Although I haven't read it, I notice he also has a book 'How to avoid Dying - For as long as possible'.

Mind you in 'Play On'  Jeff Bercovici also looks at some of the more extreme things some  do to maintain longevity.  Such as soaking in hot red wine or drinking young blood!

So if you should see me attached to the neck of a young lady ..............

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