The physiological and lifestyle aging of older athletes can be caused by several factors. However, due to their exemplary physical and mental condition, these older athletes have been role models for successful stories on optimal aging (Sipe, “Training Masters Athletes”). In fact, the author stated that most of the trainers believe that working with master athletes is a rewarding experience because it serves as an eye-opener for younger athletes. Based on the changes observed in the group of older-adult athletes, the have advanced their physiological age as a result of the natural aging, but not on their lifestyle aging. The primary aging refers to physiological, while the secondary aging refers to the lifestyle of a person (Sipe, “Training Masters Athletes”).
Some of the well settled negative lifestyle behaviors include improper diet, smoking, sedentary living and weight gain which have significantly added to the loss of physical activities and function as a person reaches the age of 60 to70 years (Sipe, “Training Masters Athletes”). By sidestepping such damaging practices and practicing several positive behaviors, these older athletes will be able to maintain their tip top condition and physical performance capabilities.
Thesis Statement: Although it has been medically proven that regular physical activities have the tendency to increase life expectancy, there is still a level of uncertainty whether high-intensity sports activities will add life expectancy.
It has been a well-established fact that regular physical activity has the tendency to reduce the risk of acquiring medical conditions and diseases. In fact, the increased work activities can improves some of the common conditions such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus type 2, dyslipidemia, chronic heart failure and the coronary heart disease. It can also lessen the risk of acquiring the deadly disease cancer which can attack the breast, lungs, colon, and pancreas (Reimers, Knapp, & Reimers, “Does Physical Activity Increase Life Expectancy”). Some of the preventive effects of regular exercise can lessen the risk of cancer and cerebrovascular diseases.
Studies have shown that the risk of dying is estimated to lower by 20 percent to 35 percent for active and physically fit individuals compared to inactive persons, including athletes. The physical inactivity will increase the chance for mortality among humans that represented 10 percent of the total death toll in the European countries (Reimers, et al., “Does Physical Activity Increase Life Expectancy”). Hence, the initial reports have revealed that there is a 40 percent decreased mortality rate matches an estimate of 5-year higher life expectancy. To interpret this finding, a person will have higher chance of an approximate 3.5- to 4.0-year life expectancy if a person is actively engaged in exercise and physically challenging activities in comparison to inactive individuals.
However, it was discovered in the recent study of Reimers, et al. (“Does Physical Activity Increase Life Expectancy”) a close analysis on physically active and inactive participants were reviewed to identify the possible difference in life expectancy between these subject groups. The studies on both athletes and non-athletes were strictly analyzed to expose the potential difference in life expectancy between the subjects.
Further in the study, it was revealed that the median increase of life expectancy among both sexes of male and female athletes and non-athletes in the eight studies that were analyzed have presented the data on both sexes that is equivalent to 3.7 years each (Reimers, et al., “Does Physical Activity Increase Life Expectancy”). Hence, the physical activities done during leisure time appears to have augmented the life expectancy more efficiently when compared to the total efforts of physical activity performed for one day. These have included the practice of professional with the combination of leisure time activities. The results have revealed that doing the combination of professional physical activity and leisure activities increased 3.4 years as a result of the total activities performed; while 4.7 years have been added to represent the median values because of the activities performed by the female participants during their leisure time. It was recorded that 1.9 and 3.9 years were added among the male participants. However, it is vital to take note that the number of studies that can be found online and peer-reviewed journals provided is very low to conduct the statistical analysis (Reimers, et al., “Does Physical Activity Increase Life Expectancy”). In addition, the descriptive information with regard to the amount of physical activity among the active and non-active groups were found to be heterogeneous to amount to any statistical association between the amount of added life expectancy years and amount of physical activities performed.
Henceforth, the eleven case control studies that were conducted on the life expectancy of athletes, who were classified as elite athletes showed a mean life expectancy that ranged between 5 years lower and 8 years higher in comparison to the non-athlete control groups (Reimers, et al., “Does Physical Activity Increase Life Expectancy”). To further verify the results, an aerobic endurance sports was done and the outcome produced an average of 4.3 to 8 years of increased life expectancy. On the other hand, team sports activities have an average of 5 years lower to 5 years higher of life expectancy in comparison to individuals who performed normal physical activity. There was a single study that was able to produce data based on the strength sport, which resulted to insignificant level of higher life expectancy, in comparison to normal physical activities that were formed. In fact, none of the studies were taken in consideration for any confounding factor that will affect the life expectancy of a person (Reimers, et al., “Does Physical Activity Increase Life Expectancy”).
Although there is a possibility of a bigger chance of life expectancy does not necessarily depend on assistance because of the condition of frailty. In fact, there was contrary study to negate that there is a gain of disability-free years of life with a higher life expectancy (Reimers, et al., “Does Physical Activity Increase Life Expectancy”).
This will confirm the thesis statement that although it has been medically proven that regular physical activities have the tendency to increase life expectancy, there is still a level of uncertainty whether high-intensity sports activities will add life expectancy.
There is limited data that is available to gauge the life expectancy among older athletes who were much more physically active, in comparison to other average individuals remain to be questionable. In fact, all the studies that have been gathered from available sources from online websites and peer-reviewed journals have only proven that there is an increased life expectancy of added 2.8 to 8 years among endurance athletes. It can be presumed that the gain is superior for those individuals who engage in dynamic physical activities based in the cohort studies (Reimers, et al., “Does Physical Activity Increase Life Expectancy”).
However, those who engage in team sports and other sports disciplines were shown to have life expectancy fell behind or by a small margin ahead of the other control groups. It bears stressing that the data on health behaviors of the athletes-subjects in the study included other physical activities such as those performed during vigorous sports careers. In fact, some information that relates to some negative vices such as smoking, alcohol drinking and food intake are not available. Therefore, it remains inconclusive whether elite sports activities can prolong life expectancy among athletes shall need further investigation to be able to justify the conclusion that persons who engage in vigorous activities have higher added life expectancy years compared to non-athletic individuals.
Furthermore, the case of the physiological and lifestyle aging of older athletes does not automatically result to increased life expectancy years. The aging athletes have become role models with the display of healthy physical and mental condition which confirms the successful stories on optimal aging (Sipe, “Training Masters Athletes”). It is surprising that older athletes maintained their endurance due to discipline and hard work. Master athletes build more experience which should serve as eye-opener for younger athletes. As the master athletes add age, they strive hard to keep up with their performance level during their younger years. It is inevitable that age will catch up with master athletes as they lose the same condition when they were younger.
Collman, James, P. Naturally Dangerous: Surprising Facts About Food, Health, and the
Environment. California: University of Science Books, 2001. Print.
Daniels, Chris. “Benefits and Side Effects of HMb”. Living Strong.com. Web. 16 April 2013.
Reimers, C. D., Knapp, G.& Reimers, A.K. “Does Physical Activity Increase Life Expectancy?
A Review of the Literature.” Journal of Aging Research (2012). Web. 16 April 2013.
Sipe, Cody. “Training Masters Athletes”. IDEA Fitness Journal, 5(9): 2008. Web. 16 April 2013.
Smith, Mitchell. Baseballs, Basketballs and Matzah Balls. Indiana: Authorhouse, 2009. Print.