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Old 05-18-17, 04:15 PM   #1
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New study on the best exercise for older people

I'm no doctor or researcher so can't vouch for the validity of this but thought it might be interesting for this forum.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/23/w...udDevGate&_r=0
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Old 05-18-17, 04:35 PM   #2
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I'm no doctor or researcher so can't vouch for the validity of this but thought it might be interesting for this forum.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/23/w...udDevGate&_r=0
Interesting. I can vouch for the notion that interval training is the best way to increase performance and endurance quickly.

As for the mitochondria, I'm focusing instead on my midi-chlorian count.
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Old 05-18-17, 04:49 PM   #3
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That's essentially the thesis of Joe Friel's Fast After Fifty: https://www.velopress.com/books/fast-after-50/
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Old 05-18-17, 05:43 PM   #4
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I bought FAF when I was "only" 48, and while it doesn't have the specificity of the Training Bible or Racing and Training with a Power Meter, it does have a lot of good information. It's nudged me to start my shorter/harder intervals earlier in the season and to good results.
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Old 05-18-17, 05:52 PM   #5
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God, I hate interval training. While I'm good with swimming steady, non-stop (twice/wk...40 to 60 lengths), every time I try intervals it a) hurts like the dickens during and b) worse after, sometimes days. As I've gotten older, I'm 75, my recovery times have gotten so long that an interval workout just shuts down the rest of my week. I know, I know, I'm supposed to 'take it easy' but if it stops me from doing anything else for days...it isn't worth the extra gene changes...whatever that meant.
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Old 05-18-17, 05:56 PM   #6
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Good to know, since that's the type of cycling that suits my available time and favorite route. It's essentially an interval training route, with roller coaster hills, and often switches directions so head winds become tail winds, etc.

My rides along that route are only 10-20 miles but seem to prepare me better for the occasional longer rides at moderate pace. When I do have time for longer rides on easier terrain it's become more of a mental than physical challenge.

And the reverse training didn't work so well. For a few months I avoided the more challenging hilly route in favor of longer, flatter rides. But my conditioning had plateaued and I wasn't getting any better at climbing hills.
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Old 05-18-17, 09:05 PM   #7
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I had the wrong author in my previous post, Mr. Friel didn't co-author The Haywire Heart, it was Lennard Zinn I confused with him. I do agree that this article reads like a synopsis of Fast After Fifty still. Between Fast After Fifty and his The Cyclist Training Diary my riding is covered very well. But, The Haywire Heart does raise some interesting points regarding damage to the ventricals of the heart from intense endurance training, such as the article supports for aging athletes. Both should be read if you are doing or considering such a training regime IMHO.

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Old 05-18-17, 09:30 PM   #8
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Old 05-18-17, 10:42 PM   #9
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Yep, going hard on the bike will fix you right up. If you can still walk OK after a 3-4 hour ride, you could have gone harder. That's the only metric you need. No need to fiddle around with intervals, really. Just have at it.
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Old 05-18-17, 11:54 PM   #10
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I'm only 65 and have no medical or scientific background. For me, it isn't about the intensity of intervals, although I do have a few rides with hills that are intense enough for me. And I am pretty much a 15 to 25 miler these days, with an occasional longer ride here and there.

I am very fortunate to live in Southern California. With the nice weather and being relatively close to the beach, I am able to do what I have long considered the best sports for a lifetime... Cycling and surfing. I do neither at the same level as when I was young, but the combination of upper and lower body, cardio, and balance has resulted in excellent low impact exercise... Notwithstanding the shattered clavicle, partially torn rotator cuff tendons, and the ability to locate rocks in either environment.

A couple of hours of each 3/4 combined times a week has worked well for me and my recovery time.

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Old 05-19-17, 03:43 AM   #11
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There's no doubt that interval training makes a huge and fast difference - I merely went to my local velodrome and would do one hot lap, then one resting, etc. Dull and boring though, which is why I eventually stopped. Trouble is, I also stopped all sorts of stuff in the 12 months since then and have been considering doing it again. It's great for those who like doing 'training' but I'm afraid I'm more a 'make it part of normal life' type person.
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Old 05-19-17, 05:29 AM   #12
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There seems to be a balance between endurance training and interval training. One article or a few research studies just isn't enough.

Why not do both?

Fartlek, which means "speed play" in Swedish, is a training method that blends continuous training with interval training. Fartlek runs are a very simple form of a long distance run. Fartlek training “is simply defined as periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running."
Fartlek - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fartlek
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Old 05-19-17, 08:35 AM   #13
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I tend to do intervals on a stationary bike during the winter - partly because I understand it to be a good approach but also because it is too boring to ride the things for long. In nice weather I tend to forgo the intervals because I enjoy a more leisurely ride and my wife (and fellow rider) doesn't like intervals. I may try to mix them in at least once a week - just for health reasons. I already do a couple of brief high intensity weight sessions every week.
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Old 05-19-17, 09:51 AM   #14
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Many of the monks at the monastery near me live into their 90's, many to 100. The 103 year old monk recently died and he could remember names and dates to his dying breath.

They don't eat meat or the "white poisons" such as sugar, white bread, etc. They sleep 7 hours every night and take a nap every afternoon. They live a balanced life of work, prayer and built in time for recreation.

Most of their exercise is similar to yoga, Ti Chi and similar. They never do intervals. A long life is defined mostly by genetics but can be maximized mostly through the elimination of stress, seeking peace.


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Old 05-19-17, 09:56 AM   #15
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didn't read the article but am assuming it is a theory not fact
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Old 05-19-17, 11:45 AM   #16
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didn't read the article but am assuming it is a theory not fact
Fact: Exercise is good. Or is that a theory?
The study results shed some light on the effects of different training techniques. It doesn't offer The Meaning of Life. But, with more reasoned scientific studies like this one, we may someday learn The Best Exercise for Older People.
In the meantime, I'll continue with my haphazard mix of cycling, pushups, etc. etc. Will definitely look into this HIIT thing.
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Old 05-19-17, 12:23 PM   #17
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didn't read the article but am assuming it is a theory not fact
Many people are confused about the difference between fact, theory, and hypothesis. That's a confusion about the scientific method. For instance, we might say it is a fact that water feels wet. However, "why water feels wet" would be first answered by a hypothesis, perhaps something to do with nerve tissue. Then that hypothesis would be tested by experiment. If an experimenter produced a resultant idea about how water felt wet, they would call that result a theory. That theory might then be tested by many researchers looking for flaws in the research. If no one found a flaw, it would still be a theory. It would never be a fact.

Gravitational attraction, IOW that things fall toward the center of the earth, is also a theory, not a fact. Why? Because it's more complicated than that. Galileo supposedly tested his theory of gravitational attraction, which was believed to be false at the time, with his famous test on the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Which is actually a somewhat complicated story, but a good illustration of typical scientific work: Galileo Didn't Drop Anything Off The Leaning Tower Of Pisa - KnowledgeNuts

In the case of the OP, a theory was produced. It will also never be a fact, though we hope other researchers will also do more research to fill in the blanks, or perhaps to prove the theory to be sound or unsound.
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Old 05-19-17, 12:26 PM   #18
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Fact: Exercise is good. Or is that a theory?
The study results shed some light on the effects of different training techniques. It doesn't offer The Meaning of Life. But, with more reasoned scientific studies like this one, we may someday learn The Best Exercise for Older People.
In the meantime, I'll continue with my haphazard mix of cycling, pushups, etc. etc. Will definitely look into this HIIT thing.
exercise is good I agree. The OP title says this is the BEST exercise, and I think that is debatable, and a matter of opinion, and is also changes from person to person
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Old 05-19-17, 12:49 PM   #19
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exercise is good I agree. The OP title says this is the BEST exercise, and I think that is debatable, and a matter of opinion, and is also changes from person to person
And that's a hypothesis, which can only be tested by experiment. I'm constantly experimenting on myself. I devise an exercise or nutritional hypothesis and then test it to see if it works. That's what one does. So test this one - test it in real life, not in words. Maybe it changes from person to person, maybe not, eh? BTW, there are whole books written about these topics, perhaps the most famous in this forum being Cycling Past 50 by Joe Friel.
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Conventional wisdom says that middle-aged cyclists should slow down and expect to achieve less as they grow older. But in Cycling Past 50, author Joe Friel shows cyclists that with proper training and the right attitude, the years after 50 can be their best ever.
I experimented and found this to be a sound theory.
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Old 05-19-17, 01:04 PM   #20
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And that's a hypothesis, which can only be tested by experiment. I'm constantly experimenting on myself. I devise an exercise or nutritional hypothesis and then test it to see if it works. That's what one does. So test this one - test it in real life, not in words. Maybe it changes from person to person, maybe not, eh? BTW, there are whole books written about these topics, perhaps the most famous in this forum being Cycling Past 50 by Joe Friel.
I experimented and found this to be a sound theory.

I wouldn't say my comment even qualifies as a hypothesis, rather an opinion

Most will agree that a theory tested on one person needs further testing. Replicability and reliability come to mind. If you have found what works for you that's good, and if all findings fit all people equally think of all the diseases and conditions that could be cured. Sadly this is not the case.

Ride on
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Old 05-19-17, 01:21 PM   #21
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I wouldn't say my comment even qualifies as a hypothesis, rather an opinion

Most will agree that a theory tested on one person needs further testing. Replicability and reliability come to mind. If you have found what works for you that's good, and if all findings fit all people equally think of all the diseases and conditions that could be cured. Sadly this is not the case.

Ride on
I'm always curious. Is it debatable? Is it a matter of opinion? Does it change from person to person?

Note that I don't mention what works for me or recommend it to others. I only recommend experimentation rather than having opinions which may or may not be valid.

In fact, there are have been many findings which have cured conditions in all people. Scientists have done that. We should welcome new research and, in the field of exercise physiology, try it on ourselves. I'm advocating for an active life.

So to our gentle reader: read the article, give it a try, report results.
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Old 05-19-17, 01:36 PM   #22
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I remember reading that NYTimes article when it came out. It was an eye opener. I shared it with my wife. We have become more serious as a result. It reinforced my new resolution to lift weights. It finally got me doing intervals. My wife has started lifting weights, too.

@omnivor, maybe you would do better if your intervals were less intense. Needing a week to recover sounds like an indication you did something wrong. The more I do intervals, the more I enjoy them. But I haven't started enjoying pushups yet.
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Old 05-19-17, 01:38 PM   #23
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read it, pretty good actually

I'm wondering if intervals have the same positive effect on the cells of regular exercisers as it does on older sedentary people of a similar age.
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Old 05-19-17, 01:57 PM   #24
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exercise is good I agree. The OP title says this is the BEST exercise, and I think that is debatable, and a matter of opinion, and is also changes from person to person
Yeah, the OP title says best exercise and the NYT article says that, too, but the study report title doesn't say best exercise: Enhanced Protein Translation Underlies Improved Metabolic and Physical Adaptations to Different Exercise Training Modes in Young and Old Humans. (That's a mouthful!)
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Old 05-19-17, 02:14 PM   #25
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I remember reading that NYTimes article when it came out. It was an eye opener. I shared it with my wife. We have become more serious as a result. It reinforced my new resolution to lift weights. It finally got me doing intervals. My wife has started lifting weights, too.

@omnivor, maybe you would do better if your intervals were less intense. Needing a week to recover sounds like an indication you did something wrong. The more I do intervals, the more I enjoy them. But I haven't started enjoying pushups yet.
Yep, I'm sure you're right. My 'wrong' is I'm inconsistent, at least for the past year, and there's nothing like surprising an old body to make it punish you. A year ago, I was all in (for me) and enjoying it. But my habits have fallen into...disrepair. Hence my reactivating these kind of connections & inspirations that BikeForums and other, similar forums can provide.
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