Ok, so that sounded a bit too dark and depressing, but a new study shows aerobics decline is very serious with age. And if you were having a gloriously happy day, well, now you can start worrying about something 😉

Fitness levels decline dramatically as we grow older, but exercise is the key to remaining independent in the golden years, according to a report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.


“This study does not mean that older people can’t improve their fitness,” he said. “By participating in a training program, you can raise your aerobic capacity 15 percent to 25 percent, which in our study would be equivalent to being 10-20 years younger. Over time, your aerobic capacity will decline, but at any given age someone who exercises will have a higher capacity than someone who is a couch potato.”

Declining muscle strength, another factor that contributes to frailty as people age, can also be countered through strengthening exercises, he said.


Using the treadmill results, researchers calculated the change in aerobic capacity for each decade of age. Aerobic capacity declined in each decade in men and women, but at a far greater rate in older age groups. The rate of decline was 3 percent to 6 percent per decade in the 20s and 30s but more than 20 percent per decade in people in their 70s and beyond.

Beginning in the 40s, men’s decline in aerobic capacity was greater than women’s, regardless of their reported physical activity. For example, men lost an average of 8.3 percent of exercise capacity per decade in their 40s, and 23.2 percent per decade in their 70s.

Probably the only thing I have heard in a long time where women get an advantage in these biological health differences. (Although they didn’t say exactly how much difference in percentage there was).