“You don’t have to resign yourself to losing.” He’s 93, but looks like he’s 40 and his body shows signs of aging

Four-time rowing machine champion Richard Morgan started exercising at age 70

Four-time rowing machine champion Richard Morgan started exercising at age 70

Washington.- If we talk Tips and Lessons for Aging WellNothing better than asking Irishman Richard Morgan. At 93, she’s a four-time rowing machine champion, has the aerobic motor of a healthy man between 30 and 40 years old, and the body fat percentage of a racing greyhound. But it is also the subject of study in new research published last month in the scientific journal Journal of Applied PhysiologyIn which his diet, physiology and training program were analyzed.

The result explains this in many ways This is an example of healthy aging and good physical condition.: a middle-aged person whose heart, muscles, and lungs are similar to those of a person half his age. But In many other ways, Richard is an everyman.: An ex-baker and ex-battery maker with painful joints who started exercising regularly after turning 70 and who basically trains in his backyard.

Although he started an exercise routine quite late in his life, At this point he has rowed around the world about 10 times and won four World Rowing Machine Championships., So, the question the researchers asked themselves is what effect exercise had on their health in old age, when their bodies had already aged.

“To really understand the aging process we need to look at very active older people,” says Bas Van Hooren, a doctoral student at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and one of the authors of the new study.

Many questions remain about the biology of aging.For example, are the physical decelerations and declines in muscle mass that typically accompany aging normal and inevitable, or are they perhaps, at least in part, due to lack of exercise.

If some people stay strong and live out their “golden years” to the fullest, the conclusion is that many of us can do the same, says Van Hooren.

Fortunately, his colleague Lorcan Daly, associate professor of exercise science at Shannon University of Technology, Ireland, was quite familiar with a case of successful aging: Richard Morgan is his grandfather, 2022 World Rowing Machine Champion in Lightweight Age Group, 90-94 Years,

Richard’s case was so interesting to investigators because he did not start playing or training sports until he was 73 years old. At that age, retired and not really knowing what to do, Richard watched sailing practice by one of his grandsons, a competitive university sailor. His grandson’s coach invited Richard to try one of the rowing machines, “and from there, he never looked back,” says his grandson Daly, the researcher.

Researchers invited Richard, who was 92 at the time, to the Physiology Laboratory at the University of Limerick, Ireland, to conduct further studies: they measured his height, weight, body mass, and recorded details of his diet. They also measured their metabolism and heart and lung function.

They were then asked to get on a rowing machine and run a 2,000-meter simulated time trial while their hearts, lungs, and muscles were monitored. ,It was one of the most exciting and revealing days in the lab I have ever experienced.says Philip Jackman, professor of healthy ageing, physical performance and nutrition at the University of Limerick and lead author of the study.

For researchers, Richard Morgan is a For researchers, Richard Morgan is a

To researchers, Richard Morgan is a “nonagenarian powerhouse”, his 75kg weight made up of 80% muscle and just 15% fat

Richard proved to be a nine-year-old powerhouse: He weighs 75 kg, consisting of 80% muscle and only 15% fat, his body composition would be considered healthy for a person three or four decades younger.

During the race against the clock, his heart rate reached 153 beats per minute, well above the expected maximum heart rate for his age and one of the highest peaks ever recorded for a 90-year-old man , which actually talks about a healthy heart. Very strong.

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His heart rate also increased very fast i.e. rapidly it reached the peak His heart was able to supply oxygen and fuel to working muscles, Daly says these “oxygen uptake kinetics,” a key indicator of cardiovascular health, were comparable to those of an average healthy 30- or 40-year-old person.

But perhaps most impressively, Richard developed that fitness with a simple, relatively short exercise routine, the researchers said.

  • Stability: Every week he rows about 30 kilometers on a machineWith an average of about 40 minutes per day.

  • Combination of easy, medium and intense training: About 70% of those exercises are easy And Morgan barely has to try. The other 20% do it at a hard but tolerable pace, and the remaining 10% do it at maximum intensity, which they can barely maintain.

  • Weight training: two or three times a week, also Richard Train with weights and use dumbbells Adjustable to complete three sets of lunges and push-ups, repeating each movement until your muscles become too tired to continue.

  • High Protein Diet: Richard eat lots of protein, His daily consumption generally exceeds the normal recommendation of 60 grams of protein for a person of his weight.

“This is a very interesting case study because it highlights Adaptation of the body to physical exercise throughout lifesays Scott Trappe, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University in Indiana, who has studied many older athletes but was not involved in the new study.

“We’re still figuring out how to start an exercise program in older age,” says Trappe. “But there is very clear evidence that The human body retains its ability to adapt to exercise at any age.,

In fact, Morgan’s physical condition and strength at the age of 93 suggest that “There’s no reason to resign yourself to losing“As we age, our muscle mass and aerobic capacity increase greatly,” says Jakeman. In fact, exercise can help us develop and maintain a strong, fit body, no matter what our age.

Of course, scientists say Richard probably has some genetic advantages. In fact, their sailing skills appear to be hereditary.

And in recent years, his racing performance has been lower, slower, than it was 15, 10 or even five years ago. So this is what Richard’s case seems to tell us Exercise does not reverse the effects of agingBut it can slow the loss of our body’s capabilities: it can “flatten the curve.”

Exercise also offers other, less physical rewards. The message for this article, sent with almost comical humility by Richard through his grandson, was, “There is a kind of satisfaction in achieving a world championship.” “I started from one day to the next and suddenly I realized that it made me very happy,

Gretchen Reynolds

(Translation by Jaime Arrambide)

(Tags to translate)Richard Morgan(T)Maastricht University(T)body fat percentage(T)rowing machine(T)training program

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