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Senior Runners Expend Similar Energy As Younger Runners

Rate of oxygen consumption differs little between active seniors and younger runners

FRIDAY, June 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Runners over age 65 could burn oxygen at nearly the same rate as much younger runners, according to a study published in the April issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Justus Ortega, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of kinesiology at Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., and colleagues conducted treadmill assessments of 15 older runners and 15 younger runners who ran at least three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes per session, over six months.

The researchers observed differences between the two groups in running mechanics, indicating that older runners adjust their techniques as they age. But the older runners burned oxygen at a similar rate as younger runners at a number of different speeds.

The finding offers another reason for people to remain active as they age, the researchers said. “There’s good evidence that it’s never too late to get into exercise, it’s about finding what types of exercise are right for your body,” Ortega said in a Humboldt State news release.

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