This is an excerpt from Bending the Aging by Joseph F. Signorile.
Using Exercise to Bend the Aging Curves
Since we have examined some of the aging curves that affect your clients’ independence, metabolic health, and fall probability, I think this is a great time to revisit the title of this book, Bending the Aging Curve. As you have seen, the majority of the curves show an exponential drop as we age as does the overall aging curve. The idea behind the title of this book, and its underlying philosophy, is that you can use targeted exercise prescriptions to improve your client’s wellness and "bend" his or her aging curves. The solid line in figure 1.10 is redrawn from the neuromuscular aging curve presented in figure 1.2a. What would this line look like if you were able to improve your client’s neuromuscular condition? Let’s say you could produce a 30% improvement in your client at 60 years of age, a 50% improvement in your client at 75 years of age, and an 80% percent improvement in your client at 90 years of age. As you can see from the dashed line in figure 1.10, the new curve would be "bent" upward illustrating this improvement. But what about the client who has been training his or her entire life? Will that client still show an exponential drop in performance with age? The answer is yes. But as you can see from the dotted line in figure 1.10, your client that regularly exercised will have a curve that begins at a much higher level than an untrained person, and the decline often will still place the client at a level equivalent to an untrained person years younger.