A study from the University of Texas, Southwest, shows that the decrease in training ability with aging is caused by lack of conditioning and can be regained by training at any age.
Five middle aged men who were in great shape were evaluated for fitness. Then they stopped exercising and were evaluated thirty years later. They then started a vigorous training program. Six months later, even though their maximal ability to take in and use oxygen declined in 30 years, their maximal heart rate went down from 181 only to 171 beats/min. After the training, the amount of blood their hearts could pump with each beat was the same as 30 years earlier. This study shows that one hundred percent of the age-related decline in heart strength over 30 years can be reversed by a six-month endurance training program, but you lose some of your maximal ability to take in and use oxygen.
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