According to a recent review of research on senior athletes, being physically active may notably improve musculoskeletal and overall health as well as minimize or delay the effects of aging. Recent research on elite athletes has suggested usage of comprehensive fitness and nutrition routines helps minimize bone and joint health decline and maintain overall physical health. The positive effects of physical activity on maintaining bone density, muscle mass, ligament and tendon function, and cartilage volume are keys to optimal physical function and health, according to a Science Daily news report.

Bryan G. Vopat, MD, lead author of the study, says, “An increasing amount of evidence demonstrates that we can modulate age-related decline in the musculoskeletal system. A lot of the deterioration we see with aging can be attributed to a more sedentary lifestyle instead of aging itself.” The literature recommends a combined physical activity regimen for all adults that include resistance, endurance, balance training, and flexibility, as safely allowable for a person.

The study recommends proper nutrition for older, active adults to optimize performance. The Science Daily news report indicates that for senior athletes, a daily protein intake of 1.0 to 1.5 g/kg is recommended, as well as carbohydrate consumption of 6 to 8 g/kg (more than 8 g/kg in the days leading up to an endurance event).

Vopat states, “Regimens must be individualized for older adults according to their baseline level of conditioning and disability, and be instituted gradually and safely, particularly for elderly and poorly conditioned adults.” The authors of the study write that to improve fitness levels and minimize bone and joint health decline, when safely allowable, patients should be encouraged to continually exceed the minimum exercise recommendations, according to Science Daily.

Source: Science Daily