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Fitness Age: Reversing Metabolic Syndrome

By HERWriter
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Obesity related image Photo: Getty Images

Could a 50-something-year-old parent be more fit than their college-aged child? If their kid is sedentary and they’re fit, research as reported by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s K.G. Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine says that they may be able to turn back the clock 30 years.

The University’s site references new research stating, “Activity is far more important than age in determining fitness levels -- and an active 50-year-old can be every bit as fit as a sedentary 20-year-old, says Ulrik Wisloff, Jebsen Center director and principle investigator of the study.”

The study looked at what they call and what is clinically referred to as Peak Oxygen Uptake of more than 4500 male and female adults between the ages of 20-90 years. The statistics were taken from Norway’s largest health database.

“Peak Oxygen Uptake is the same as what we in the fitness industry call VO2 max or maximal oxygen consumption. This measure looks at the level of individual oxygen consumption and can determine one’s health and fitness level."

The Jebsen Center study concluded that, “Youth isn't everything when it comes to being fit. Their data also shows how those who were least fit also had the worst measures of cardiovascular health, such as higher blood pressures and higher cholesterol levels.” Those conditions along with the risk factors for type 2 diabetes and stroke all play a role in metabolic syndrome which can increase with age.

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, “Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raise your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke.”

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, refers to five conditions as metabolic risk factors including, “a large waistline, a high triglyceride level, a low HDL cholesterol level, high blood pressure and high fasting blood sugar.”

As a trainer, I frequently see people who are middle-aged and often have been diagnosed with the above-mentioned risk factors or warning signs. It is so rewarding when they adopt a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise, return to the doctors and find out that they have lowered their risks for developing a debilitating disease and may have even lowered their fitness age.

Online References:

“Cheating Father Time – NTNU.Edu.” The Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Web 17 Oct. 2011.

“What is Metabolic Syndrome – NHLBI.NIH.GOV.” The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Web 17 Oct. 2011.

Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.

Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com. She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.

Reviewed October 19, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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