Keen joggers love getting out to have a run, even in high summer when they inevitably lose gallons of fluid in perspiration, and their face is the colour of beetroot!
But recent science indicates that in many cases high-impact exercise can benefit those middle aged and older. A 2003 study found that while sedentary adults lost about 10 per cent of their maximal endurance capacity every decade, young and middle-aged athletes who regularly engaged in intense and high-impact exercise, such as running intervals, experienced a much slower decline, losing only about 5 per cent of their capacity per decade until age 70 when the loss of capacity accelerated for everyone. There is also evidence that high-impact exercise does not speed up the onset of arthritis.
A further study showed that adult runners, including many aged 45 or older, had a lower incidence of knee osteoarthritis and hip replacement than age-matched walkers, with the adults who accumulated the most mileage over the course of seven years having the lowest risk. Jogging also improved the health of joint cartilage and kept the runners lean as they aged.
So now that the weather is warming up, perhaps it’s time to pull on the trainers and start jogging (gently at first), encouraged by the thought that you will experience a much slower decline in ageing.