ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
CANCER
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Mom's Smoking May Lead to SIDS
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
Robots May Come to Aging Boomers' Rescue
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Health Tip: After Liposuction
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
DIET, NUTRITION
Fruits, Vegetables, Teas May Cut Smokers' Cancer Risk
Imagine Food Aromas That Prevent Overeating
Eat Up, But Eat Healthy This Holiday Season
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Hypertension May Hit Black Males Earlier
Rainy Areas in U.S. Show Higher Autism Rates
Fertilizer Ban Makes a Difference
EYE CARE, VISION
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
FITNESS
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Seniors Who Exercise Help Their Health
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Hidden Salt in Diet Haunts Many With Heart Failure
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Maximize Your Run
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Add your Article

Fitness Fades Fast After 45

(HealthDay News) -- The declines in fitness that accompany growing old typically speed up after the age of 45, new research shows.

But people can slow the inevitable by staying lean, exercising and refraining from smoking.

The findings, appearing in the Oct. 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, are not so surprising in light of the piles of other research that have drawn similar conclusions.

But the new study has broad implications, given the rising number of older adults in the United States and the explosion in the sedentary, overweight and aging population.

"The Social Security Administration actually has an aerobic capacity threshold. If you're below the threshold, you are considered disabled," said study author Andrew Jackson.

This means more people could qualify for government disability benefits at a younger age, further draining an already strained economy.

This study group included 3,429 women and 16,889 men aged 20 to 96 who had undergone two to 33 health exams with lifestyle counseling between 1974 and 2006.

Reductions in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) were not seen as a straight downward line. Instead, after the age of 45, the slope became much steeper, accelerating even further with increases in body-mass index (BMI), smoking and lower levels of physical activity.

"We've known that, as you age, your aerobic capacity goes down, and the exercise physiology literature indicates it's a linear relationship. We found that this is not the case," said Jackson, who is professor emeritus of health and human performance at the University of Houston. "It makes sense to me. When things aren't working right, we tend to go down at faster rates. This was true for both men and women [although the rate of decline was faster for men than for women]."

Taking care of yourself could make you, in a sense, younger than your years.

"If you were overweight, inactive and smoked, your aerobic capacity would be lower at a given age as compared to other people who were healthy weight, active and nonsmokers," Jackson said. "The data showed that if people had that advantage when they were in their 30s and 40s and maintained that lifestyle, their aerobic capacity as they aged was, in fact, higher."

"It could delay the age when these health problems start to spring up," he continued. "If people are very overweight, inactive and smoke, they might see these health problems in their 50s and 60s, whereas people who maintain a healthy lifestyle, it's going to be more like their 70s, 80s and possibly even their 90s."

"You have to exercise. It's now becoming established fact, and if you don't incorporate it, you're going to see the effects. You will get sicker sooner," added Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease for Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association. "Exercise is the most potent medication around, and the Social Security Administration agrees with me."

A second study in the same issue of the journal provides a measure of good news. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia found that blacks who partnered with a family member or friend to lose weight actually did lose pounds -- but only if the partner also lost weight.

SOURCES: Andrew S. Jackson, P.E.D., F.A.C.S.M., professor emeritus, health and human performance, University of Houston; Suzanne Steinbaum, M.D., director, women and heart disease, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City, and spokeswoman, American Heart Association; Oct. 26, 2009, Archives of Internal Medicine.