RoadBikeRider is publishing today my new eBook Anti-Aging: 12 Ways You Can Slow the Aging Process. I wrote Anti-Aging for all roadies age 50 and older. This eBook will teach you how you can fight the physical effects of chronological aging.
Most people’s health and fitness start to irrevocably decline about age 50, and as they get older their health and fitness decline more rapidly. This is called the geriatric curve.
The following drawing shows four examples of geriatric curves:
People who lead a healthy lifestyle to maximize all aspects of fitness. At age 30 they are quite fit and their fitness declines slowly to about 50 when they start working on all aspects of fitness and slow the rate of decline until they drop dead in their 90s.
People who lead a healthy lifestyle focused on fitness. At age 30 they are fit and their fitness declines until about age 50 when they greatly increase their exercise to reverse some of the loss and slow the rate of decline until they drop dead in their 90s.
People who lead a healthy and active lifestyle and follow the American College of Sports Medicine recommendations.
Couch potatoes who don’t lead a healthy lifestyle and true aging happens rapidly.
My drawing is simplified. The curves aren’t really so smooth. The ages at death are illustrative. The more you exercise the longer you’ll probably live.
Squaring The Geriatric Curve
You can slow the rate of decline but you can’t stop it. Leading a vigorous life and flattening the rate of aging as much as possible and then dying suddenly in your 90s is squaring the geriatric curve. The Vigorous and Fit curves are examples of squaring the geriatric curve.
Physiological aging is not caused by any single factor but by an aggregate of causes. Fortunately, fitness helps to maintain peak performance and prevent premature aging.
To slow the physical effects of chronological aging the book teaches you how to:
1. Assess honestly your strengths and weaknesses using the American College of Sports Medicine’s recommendations and the Athletic Maturity quiz.
2. Exercise consistently year-round. Use it or lose it applies even more to mature roadies. The older you get, the faster you lose a type of fitness if you don’t exercise that type.
3. Train wisely to avoid setbacks and injury.
4. Plan how to combine the riding you love with addressing the areas in which you need to improve and then set goals and track progress.
5. Ride aerobically year-round to maintain and improve cardiorespiratory fitness.
6. Include intensity workouts that are appropriate to your goals.
7. Strength train regularly to complement your riding and to maintain your capacity to do activities of daily living.
8. Stretch regularly to increase your riding comfort and to maintain your capacity to do activities of daily living.
9. Practice balance drills to reduce the risk of falling, the number one reason mature people go to the emergency room.
10. Engage in weight-bearing activities as part of your aerobic and strength training.
11. Balance exercise with the rest of your life so you get sufficient recovery and avoid overtraining.
12. Have fun!
Anti-Aging incorporates the latest research and most of it is new material not published in my previous eArticles on cycling past 50, 60 and beyond.
The book explains how to get the most benefit from your endurance rides. It has sample training plans to increase your annual riding miles and to build up to rides of 25-, 50-, 100- and 200-mile rides. The book explains why intensity training is important, the pros and cons of gauging intensity using rate of perceived exertion, heart rate and power. It includes how to do intensity exercise and different intensity workouts. It integrates endurance and intensity training into an annual plan for optimal results.
Anti-Aging describes the importance of strength training and includes 28 exercises for lower body, upper body and core strength illustrated with photos. It includes an annual plan to integrate strength training with endurance and intensity training. It also has 14 stretches illustrated with photos.
Falls are the number one reason that older people are admitted to emergency rooms. The book has 10 balance drills to do both on and off the bike. Weight bearing exercise is important to maintain strong bones to minimize the risk of fractures if you fall. The book describes the increasing importance of recovery as you get older, the most important things you can do to improve your recovery and how to avoid overtraining.
Anti-Aging includes an annual plan to put together all six of the aspects of aging well: cardiorespiratory exercise, intensity training, strength workouts, weight-bearing exercise, stretching and balance. The book concludes with a chapter on motivation.
Anti-Aging includes the illustrative stories of 13 roadies: Gabe Mirkin, M.D. (82), Ken Bonner (75), Elizabeth Wicks (74), Fred Matheny (72), John Hughes (69), Malcolm Fraser, M.D. (68), Andy Pruitt (67), John Elmblad (66), John Lee Ellis (65), Jim Langley (64), Muffy Ritz (60), Michelle Grainger (57) and John Marsh (54).
Bottom line: Decide how important it is to slow the inevitable decline in health and fitness relative to your other priorities in life.
Anti-Aging: 12 Ways You Can Slow the Aging Process is your comprehensive guide to aging well. The 106-page eBook is available today for $14.99 ($13.57 for Premium Members after their 15% discount).
Coach John Hughes earned coaching certifications from USA Cycling and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. John’s cycling career includes course records in the Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200-km randonnée and the Furnace Creek 508, a Race Across AMerica (RAAM) qualifier. He has ridden solo RAAM twice and is a 5-time finisher of the 1200-km Paris-Brest-Paris. He has written over 40 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training and nutrition, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach John Hughes. Click to read John’s full bio.
Your curve is bullshit. There’s is NO WAY to maintain the high level you have drawn for “Vigorous”. YOU HAVE NO SUPPORT that shows such a high level can be maintained. Everyone ages, granted at different rates, but NO ONE will hold their fitness levels as you show. Read Joe Friel’s recent book “Fast after Fifty”…….
Road Bike Rider says
Although it does say “fitness” on one side, my understanding of his point is that he’s really talking about health and vigor with that graph.
People who exercise have a much better chance of making it all the way to the end with health and vigor until the very end.
I believe he’s talking about people like this guy, who just set the hour record for 105 year olds on a bike: