Endurance and Age-Related Performance
People might age like wine, but the same can’t be said about their athletic performance. Even the best athletes have retired after a certain age given the limitations of the human body. However, they never stop working out. Let’s talk about how aging affects your performance on the field and how you can maintain it as you go ahead.
Why does stamina decrease with age?
The peak of athletic and metabolic performance is achieved during your 20s and 30s. These two decades of your life are the best to squeeze out from. Hitting your 40s is when begins the long, gradual decline in your athletic capacity, endurance and strength for both men and women.
When you enter your 40s, your major organs like the heart and lungs start to function some percentage point less than before. This differs for individuals based on genetics and their lifestyles. The range is anywhere between 5 to 10 percent per decade. Your blood vessels start to get more brittle and the blood gets thicker which puts too much load on your heart to pump it through the body. This causes fatigue and breathlessness even with light activity.
You also begin to lose 3 to 5 percent of lean muscle tissue and instead begin to gain body fat every decade after age 30. This also leads to a restricted range of motion and weight gain, if the lifestyles are sedentary. All this adds up to a loss of grip strength, leg strength and joint mobility, not forgetting to mention that your neuromuscular coordination goes down by a whopping 90 percent! That’s a bummer!
Managing endurance with age
The first signs of a drop in your endurance start to pop when your everyday work feels challenging. You may not be able to run as much as you used to and get tired more quickly. This should not deter you from getting back up and practicing your workout. Building stamina just requires a lot more effort as you get older, doesn’t mean you can’t build it.
The endurance loss is inevitable but you can control the rate at which it diminishes. Keep your workouts and diets regular. Try indulging in strength training 2-3 times a week. Cardio exercises like cycling or walking reduce blood pressure and boost your heart’s ability to pump oxygenated blood to your muscles and can help increase stamina. The key is to build both muscle and cardiovascular strength and it is recommended that you work with an instructor who can plan this better for you. A good circuit training plan is all you need to up your game.
A balanced diet becomes even more important at this age not just for your athletic health but for your general well being. Include loads of high-quality protein, whole foods, and whole grains, not missing out on gulping down plenty of water.
Aging might sound terrifying given the setbacks it tends to bring with itself, but true champs never forget to up their game. Age is, after all, just a number, no?