American Academy of Health and Fitness

FITNESS SPECIALTY CERTIFICATIONS AND CONTINUING EDUCATION HOME STUDY PROGRAMS

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IN THIS SECTION
Integumentary (Skin) System
Skeletal System
Muscular System
Nervous System
Endocrine System
Cardiovascular System
Lymphatic (Immune) System
Respiratory System
Digestive System
Urinary System
Reproductive System


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Physical Exercise & Aging

Apart from birth and death, aging is perhaps the only experience that EVERY human being shares. Even so, no one fully understands it. Man has pondered the same questions throughout history -- What is aging? Why does it happen? Can we stop it?

We all age, but everyone does so in different ways and at different rates. Some people live much longer than average, while others have a much better quality of life. Gerontology is the study of these differences and the search for their causes. Scientists want to understand the process and causes of aging so that they can postpone or even stop the aging process.

 

In other words, their goal is to maximize the quantity of life. At AAHF. we believe in taking that goal to another level, and also maximizing the quality of life. That is the gift that exercise can give to our aging population.

The Result of Living Longer

Since the mid 19th century, the life span in the US has nearly doubled. Most of the increase in life expectancy is due to declines in death from infectious disease. Unfortunately, the number of deaths from infectious disease has been replaced by the number of deaths from degenerative or “lifestyle” diseases.


Most people would agree that living a long life without health and independence is not what they’re looking for. So, when we consider that an increasing number of people are living longer, we must also consider the problems that are created when the quality of these extended years is poor.

It has been estimated that by the year 2040 the average life expectancy of older people could increase by 20 years. Some say that by the middle of the 21st century there could be 16 million people in the US over the age of 85. These same people say that the average 65 year old will spend 7½ years of their remaining 17 years living with some functional disability.

What Happens When You Age?

Chronological vs. Biological Age

As was touched on earlier, it is common to think that physical capacity and performance improve through the early years, peak at about age 30, and then decline gradually and steadily until we die. However, each person is unique. The interaction of many factors, including the aging process and life experiences, decreases the consistency of performance within individuals and increases the differences among them across their life span.

We have all heard comments like the following: “She has aged gracefully”; “Time has been kind to him”; “She doesn’t look her age”; and “He certainly doesn’t act like he’s in his 60s.” Obviously, these are meant as compliments and imply that the person being referred to is not aging at the expected rate. The differences found in the functional capacity of older adults are striking. Some older adults are frail and live in nursing homes, while others live independently and run marathons.

This type of observation indicates that some individuals do not seem as “old” as others of the same age. This has led to the search for a measure of biological age that is independent of chronological age. Because there are so many differences that make it hard to define or measure biological age, however, gerontological experts have never been able to agree on a set definition.

Aging and the Organ Systems

Even though there is no agreement on a definition for biological age, there are certain changes in the body that occur universally with age. Let’s look at the changes for each organ system:

Integumentary (Skin) System
Skeletal System
Muscular System
Nervous System
Endocrine System
Cardiovascular System
Lymphatic (Immune) System
Respiratory System
Digestive System
Urinary System
Reproductive System
 
We instill quality of life. Contact us at 800-957-7348.

Contact Information:

American Academy of Health and Fitness
Phone 800-95-SRFIT (800-957-7348)
Fax (703) 451-4952

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