His case offers scientists lessons on aging


Richard Morgan competed in an indoor rowing competition in 2018. (Row2k.com)

The human body has the ability to adapt to exercise at any age, proving that it’s never too late to start a fitness program.

To learn how to age well, the worst thing we can do is Richard Morgan, At the age of 93, Irishman is four-time world indoor rowing champion, with the aerobic motor of a healthy 30 or 40 year old man and the body fat percentage of a sighthound (greyhound dog). He’s also the subject of a new case study published last month in the Journal of Applied Physiology, which looked at his training, diet and physiology.

by infobay

Their results show that, in many ways, An example of healthy, fit aging is: a non-adult whose heart, muscles, and lungs are less than half their age. But in other ways, he’s normal: a former baker and drum maker with creaky knees, who didn’t exercise regularly until he was 70 and still trains mostly in his backyard shed.

Although her fitness routine started later in life, she has now rowed around the world nearly 10 times and won four world championships. So, the researchers asked, what effect did exercise in old age have on their aging bodies?

Lessons about aging from active older people

“If we want to understand aging we need to observe very active older people.”said Bas Van Hooren, a doctoral researcher at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and one of the study’s authors.

Morgan joined researchers in the Physiology Laboratory at the University of Limerick in Ireland. (Lorcan Daly)

Many questions remain unanswered about the biology of aging and whether the physical deceleration and muscle loss that typically occurs with aging is normal and inevitable or perhaps, at least in part, due to lack of exercise. it occurs.

That said, if some people can stay strong and fit well into their golden years, it follows that many of us can do the same.

Fortunately, his colleague Lorcan Daly, assistant professor of exercise science at Shannon University of Technology in Ireland, was quite familiar with an example of successful aging. His grandfather is Morgan, the 2022 world indoor rowing champion in the lightweight, 90–94 age category.

What made Morgan particularly interesting to researchers was that He didn’t start playing sports or doing physical exercise until he was 73. Retired but still with something to give, he participated in rowing practices with one of his other grandchildren, a competitive collegiate rower. The coach invited him to use a machine.

“He never looked back,” Daly said.

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