Study: Older runners improve faster

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Bumper, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. Bumper

    Bumper Guest

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/diet.fitness/09/10/older.runners.ap/index
    ..html

    NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (AP) -- Runners over age 50 improve their
    performance more quickly than younger runners, a Yale study found,
    reinforcing past research on older athletes and the benefits they get
    from exercise.

    "You can maintain a very high performance standard into the sixth or
    seventh decade of life," said lead researcher Dr. Peter Jokl.

    The 16-year study of top runners in the New York City Marathon found
    that the average times of older age groups improved more than the
    average times for younger age groups.

    The top women runners aged 50 to 59 showed the greatest improvement,
    running the marathon as a group more than 2 minutes faster each year
    from 1983 to 1999. The top male runners in that age group improved about
    8 seconds each year.

    The study reinforces the notion that many older people grow weaker not
    simply because of age, but because they do not use their muscles as much
    as they did in their youth, said Jokl, a professor of orthopedics at the
    Yale School of Medicine.

    Researchers expect older runners will continue to improve over time, as
    they try new training techniques and as American culture increasingly
    encourages older people, especially women, to exercise.

    You do not have to be a marathoner to see the benefits either, Jokl and
    other researchers said. Regular exercise of any kind helps lower
    cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure, keeps weight down and
    improves mental outlook.

    June Norman, 58, of Milford, said she has seen many benefits from her
    exercise regimen.

    She has been running for 25 years and tests herself in the New Haven
    Road Race each Labor Day. On Monday, she ran the 20-kilometer race 5
    seconds faster than she did the year before, to finish second in her age
    group. Her times overall have stayed about the same since she hit her
    50s.

    "I'd be interested to know why. You would think you would get slower or
    drop off quickly," Norman said.

    She said she trains conservatively to avoid injuries and runs
    competitively twice a year for fun.

    "I certainly feel a lot healthier than some of my friends," Norman said.
    "There is life after menopause."

    Norman grew up in an era that discouraged women from exercising.
    Sweating or being muscular was thought to be unladylike, noted Daniel
    Perry, executive director of the Alliance for Aging Research, a
    nonprofit advocacy group in Washington.

    "That earlier generation suffered from disapproval. By and large,
    femininity was defined as not being active in the playing field," Perry
    said. "Since the 1970s and 80s, girls have been encouraged and well
    thought of for being active in sports and exercise."
    start quoteI certainly feel a lot healthier than some of my friends.
    There is life after menopause.end quote
    -- June Norman, 58

    Even so, while many people know about the benefits of exercise, few are
    doing it, Perry said. A survey of baby boomers by the Alliance for Aging
    Research found that only a third of people born between 1946 and 1964
    exercise regularly.

    "The baby boomers are still being a little lazy, particularly the
    younger ones," he said. "If they all fail to get healthy, the country
    will be in dire straits."

    Dr. Kerry Stewart, who teaches clinical exercise physiology at Johns
    Hopkins School of Medicine, said the Yale study mirrors findings he and
    other researchers have done on the athletic performance of older people.

    A study of exercise training in people 55 and older found they can see
    the same amount of improvement in muscle strength, oxygen consumption
    and other benefits as people in their 20s and 30s.

    "It proves the point that if people remain active, they certainly can
    get the full benefits of training," Stewart said.

    Jokl's study was published in the August issue of the British Journal of
    Sports Medicine.
     
    Tags:


  2. rick++

    rick++ Guest

    This article confused me when it first came out last week.
    Sound like it said I'd be running faster marathons in my 60s than in my 20s and 30s.
    I think it is really saying that if you *start from inactivity* at any age,
    you'll see similar percentage improvements.
    If you are starting from inactivity in middle ago or older, you've probably risked
    considerable bodily damage from inactivity already.
     
  3. >This article confused me

    Doesn' take much...

    9-11 forget it, it's over. Who cares? Nobody.
     
  4. On 13 Sep 2004 13:41:38 -0700, [email protected] (rick++) wrote:

    >This article confused me when it first came out last week.
    >Sound like it said I'd be running faster marathons in my 60s than in my 20s and 30s.
    >I think it is really saying that if you *start from inactivity* at any age,
    >you'll see similar percentage improvements.
    >If you are starting from inactivity in middle ago or older, you've probably risked
    >considerable bodily damage from inactivity already.

    actually, from my limited amount of experience, the opposite
    is true. gys that were active 9soccer, football, basketball)
    have all suffered bad knees and back by the time they
    hit 50. guys like me, who didn't do any sports at all,
    are fine and getting better.
    ....thehick
     
  5. PaulM1125

    PaulM1125 Guest

    >>The top women runners aged 50 to 59 showed the greatest improvement,
    running the marathon as a group more than 2 minutes faster each year
    from 1983 to 1999. The top male runners in that age group improved about
    8 seconds each year.


    Perhaps, it also reflects the fact that more of the top runners are turning
    fifty. They are about the right age to be part of the '70s running boom.
    Locally, I see a very good group of runners in the 50-54 range.

    Paul
     
  6. ProfWdesk1

    ProfWdesk1 Guest

    There may be some point to the study. But you have to remember how poorly
    modern studies are written up prior to the test. A typical study will conclude
    something like... people who drink spinach juice are thinner ... Like a lot of
    fat people drink spinach juice. Other test that are make a little better still
    are written up usually to get a certain answer. If you find out what the
    answer is you know who funded it and if you know who is funding something then
    you know what the answer will be before the study. Roy, [email protected]
     
  7. Bethowmuch

    Bethowmuch Guest

    Road Runner Sports, gore-tex.
     
Loading...
Loading...