Forever Fit, Forever Young

By Patty Peoples | 08/12/13
Forever Fit, Forever Young

It’s a proven fact that exercise retards the aging process.  According to the Modern Medicine website, “Telomeres—caps at the ends of chromosomes, which tend to shorten as we age—are longer in people who are physically active. Several studies have linked the longer telomere to fewer wrinkles, stronger muscles, and more resistance to disease.

As we age, our telomeres become shorter, leaving cells more susceptible to damage and death. However, a research study found active people had longer telomeres than their sedentary counterparts. A sedentary lifestyle causes oxidative stress and telomere erosion, which increases the risks associated with aging-related diseases. In fact, the study suggested that the inactive participants were biologically older, by 10 years, compared with the more active subjects.” 

Working out is not just a physical process, it also takes a good psychological mindset working with the body.  The two together reduce a person’s psychological stress levels, which in turn, also helps to keep the telomeres longer than a non-exerciser. 

Retarding the aging process may not be of much concern to those in their teens, twenties or even thirties, but for those over 40, we start to think about longevity a bit more and what kind of quality of life we will have as we enter our mid-life and beyond.

A good way to test our “youth age” is by training toward a physical goal; for example, hiking a local peak, paddle boarding on the ocean, competing in a running race, swim meet, cycling event, and even multisports like triathlons and duathlons. 

A few local Redlands residents, (my fair city), did just that on April 28 when they left the Inland Empire area and travelled to Camarillo to test themselves in the Camarillo Sprint and Olympic Distance Duathlons.  The Olympic distance consisted of running 3 miles, cycling 19 miles and finishing with another 3 mile run.  After all was said and done, Redlands’ athletes, all over the age of 50 proved that “Forever FIT = Forever YOUNG.” Placing 2nd female overall and 1st in her age-group was Margot Williams, 51, finishing the Olympic course in 1 hour, 41 minutes and 9 seconds.  Williams also posted the fastest female bike split for the Olympic distance, averaging 20.5 miles per hour.  Don Davidson, 62, took top honors in his age-group and 10th overall, finishing in 1 hour, 37 minutes and 10 seconds.  Rounding out the Olympic distance athletes was Tom Resh, 55, who was 4th overall and 1st in his age-group with an overall time of 1 hour, 27 minutes, 59 seconds. 

Besting the field of women in the sprint distance and posting the fastest female bike split, averaging close to 23 miles per hour, was yours’ truly, at the youthful age of 56!  My time over  the sprint course, which consisted of a 1.5 mile run, 11.9 mile bike and finishing with another 1.5 mile run, was 51 minutes and 59 seconds.

So, if you want to retard the aging process and lead a life of “Forever FIT = Forever YOUNG,” then you must adopt a quality exercise program to meet your needs for achieving your personal fitness or exercise goals and stick with it.  No yo-yo exercising!  You too have the capability to achieve your personal fitness goals, while also keeping yourself young!  So don’t let your age inhibit or limit you!

Patty Peoples is a Fitness Coach/Educator at Chaffey College, Motivational Speaker, USAT Level 1 Multisport Coach, ISSA Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist/Trainer and USAT AG Duathlon National Champion in all three distances (Sprint, Olympic and Long Course); as well as being the 2012 Overall Female USAT Sprint Duathlon National Champion.  Patty is also a reigning ITU AG Duathlon World Champion, was a member of the Inaugural Women’s Tour de France Championship USA Team and has 125+ career victories in a variety of sports.   Patty can be reached at p2peakperformance@hotmail.com

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