Extra time: how smart exercise keeps you younger for longerNo Diabetes XXL
Creaking knees, potent back, dodgy shoulders Age is no friend to the human body. So how are veteran athletes like Roger Federer and Jo Pavey still at the top of their sport? And what can you do to keep up?
Slow down, that used to be the mantra for middle age. The terrifying half-century reached, fiftysomethings were expected to take over less challenging physical activities- if they were physical at all. A amiable stroll around the golf course, perhaps, rewarded with a gin and tonic at the 19 th loophole; or membership of the local bowling association, blazered crown lettuce rather than 10 -pin.
Physical decline as their own bodies aged was inevitable, something to be grouched about, accepted and dealt with. That fundamental law has not changed, but the way we control ageing has. Coming older need not signify get weaker, at least not until the end is truly nigh.
” Do not croak gentle into that good darknes ,” advises Dylan Thomas.” Old age should burn and rave at close of day ;/ Rage, storm against the dying of the light .” Thomas raged over a beer potty, but the rage in such a case is high-intensity teaching, explodes of defying- yes, distressing- exercise interspersed with periods of lesser endeavour and residue. We should all be doing this in our later years, except for those whose health stirs such toil dangerous.
It is not ageing that generates a dropped in fitness; instead, that a decline in fitness stimulates ageing. This is the simple thesis of Play On: How to Get Better with Age by the American correspondent and sports fan Jeff Bercovici.