MINNEAPOLIS-It’s never too late to be healthy, according to Pam Peeke, M.D. “It’s as simple as assuming the vertical and walking each day,” she said. Peeke is a trustee of the National Senior Games Foundation Board. The 2015 National Senior Games presented by Humana get underway this weekend in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington, Minn.
Peeke has always promoted physical conditioning, but now she can point to some dramatic new evidence: a new study released by the National Senior Games Association (NSGA) indicating that exercise can cut the “fitness age” of a person by nearly a quarter-century.
As reported in the New York Times on July 1, the study surveyed more than 4,200 Senior Games athletes who have competed in state and national competitions. The National Senior Games is a sporting event held every two years by the NSGA in which thousands of athletes fifty years and older compete in more than 800 individual athletic events.
Survey respondents were, on average, 68 years old. But based on their responses, their fitness age, on average, was 43 years old.
“The Fitness Age survey is unique in that the questions highlight important risk factors associated with disease and disability,” said Peeke, who also has a master’s degree in public health.. “People with a good Fitness Age tend to have lower waist sizes, higher aerobic capacity and optimally healthy lifestyle habits.”
Peeke said all of these factors are considered when calculating one’s Fitness Age.
The study was released days shy of the National Senior Games, which will be held in Minnesota from July 3 through 16.