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Jogging In Middle Age Can Delay Ageing

By Super

London : Taking regular aerobic exercise could stop the biological clock and delay ageing by up to 12 years, researchers have claimed.

Keeping fit by jogging or cycling through middle age and beyond slows and even reverses the decline in muscle power, balance and co-ordination in later life, a new study found.

The research said that without regular workouts, maximum aerobic power fell in men by up to half between the ages of 20 and 60.

Women began to lose fitness aged around 35, with aerobic power also falling by up to half by the age of 60, it added.

Eventually, everyday activities became 'intolerably fatiguing' for older men and women, said the study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The research by Toronto University found that relatively high-intensity aerobic exercise over a relatively long period of time could boost maximal aerobic power by 25 per cent.

Dr Roy Shephard, of the University's faculty of Physical Education and Health, said long-term aerobic training can maintain or restore aerobic power in later life.

The effect is the equivalent of turning back the biological clock for older people by up to 12 years, he added.

"A regular exercise programme can slow or reverse the loss of aerobic fitness, reducing the individual's biological age and prolonging independence," Dr Shephard told the Daily Mail.

Evidence has shown that regular activity cuts the risk of a range of health problems including diabetes, depression and heart disease.

It also reduces the chances of premature death from any illness, the study said.

Story first published: Friday, April 11, 2008, 17:41 [IST]
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