Vigorous exercise makes your lungs act young again

vigorous-exerciseGetting older can cause physical attributes to decline, leading to decreased muscle and bone mass. While these could be mitigated with a proper exercise regimen, most people in their old age often act too late.

However, a new study from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester finds that despite the physical changes that accompany old age, decreased lung capacity isn’t one of them. This is great news for seniors out there who want to make a change and feared that their lungs wouldn’t keep up.

The lungs’ job


The lungs are a pair of elastic-like organs that expand and contract, moving air in and out. They are responsible for the exchange of oxygen with carbon dioxide that occurs every day, more so during physical activity. This exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide is called lung diffusion capacity. Many diseases and conditions can affect this value. Aging is also noted to decrease this exchange process.

A study involving four different groups was done to investigate how much oxygen exchange was occurring at various age levels. One group was composed of young adults with an average age of 27 who had normal fitness levels. The second group was composed of highly fit adults, also of an average age of 27. The third group was composed of older adults with an average age of 69 who had normal fitness levels. The last group was composed of highly fit older adults with an average age of 65.
Increasingly difficult stationary bike workouts were carried out while researchers measured lung diffusing capacity throughout.

Old lungs are comparable to young ones

Surprisingly, not a single group was found to have impaired lung function, even when comparing older adults to younger ones. The researchers were certain that at least some disparity would be observable in this respect, but none were seen.

The researchers concluded that overall lung circulation isn’t limited during vigorous exercise, despite age or fitness level.

Related: Regular exercise can protect you against this serious health threat

Author Bio

Devon Andre has been involved in the health and dietary supplement industry for a number of years. Devon has written extensively for Bel Marra Health. He has a Bachelor of Forensic Science from the University of Windsor, and went on to complete a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. Devon is keenly aware of trends and new developments in the area of health and wellness. He embraces an active lifestyle combining diet, exercise and healthy choices. By working to inform readers of the options available to them, he hopes to improve their health and quality of life.


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