Aerobics at Any Age – It’s Never Too Late to Start! Post 1

Learning a New Word
“Aerobics” is a new word for Ben Carpenter. In his youth, he assumed that if he lived to be an octogenarian, he would know all there is to know. “I’m so old,” he keeps telling people, “I would remember when air was clean and sex was dirty, not the other way round.

Ben’s interest in etymology sent him to the dictionary, and he learned that aerobic means able to live, grow or take place only where free oxygen is present. His grandson explained that aerobic exercises are those which make the heart accelerate for a sustained period of time, fast walking, swimming, rope jumping, biking–any kind of activity that is not stop-and-start, but go-go-go. “What counts,” explained his grandson, “is that the exercise is kept up for a period of time and that it is practically daily or at least five times a week. The object is to improve those organs and systems involved in the body’s processing of oxygen–the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. As the heart is strengthened, its work load is lightened.”

Ben, at 83, wanted all the held he could get. If aerobics lightened the load, aerobics he would try. Not that Ben had ever been sedentary–he just never allowed himself the luxury of a purposeful exercise regimen, a planned activity. “In the good old days,” said Ben, “when a man finished his day’s work, he needed rest; nowadays he needs exercise.”

Benefits at Any Age
Armed with his definitions, Ben went to the library to do some research before embarking on “this aerobics.” He learned from a book by Doctor that:

The condition effect occurs when your body recognizes that you are asking things of it which it had long ago forgotten about. As you force the cells of your body to produce energy during aerobic exercise, the tiny subcellular sites of energy production are encouraged to become more efficient and also actually to increase in number.

These sites of energy production within all cells are called mitochondria . . . Aerobic exercise “tunes up” mitochondrial functions.

Ben also learned that his body would increase its ability to deliver nutrients, that he would increase the capacity of his lungs, and that he would enlarge major blood vessels. These advantages would only accompany the aerobics. He read that the risk of developing coronary heart disease in men reporting regular, forceful exercise was about a third of that in comparable men not exercising aerobically. The protective effect continues throughout middle age. Since Ben considered middle age anything from 35 to 110, he decided that aerobics was for him.

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