Aging and fitness are two topics that are at odds with one another as equally as they go hand in hand. This duality of nature can make it hard for people to really understand how to keep themselves fit as they age. On the one had it is much harder to keep ourselves fit as we age, but on the other the importance of keeping ourselves goes up immensely as well.
For some it seems like a losing battle that there is no point to even fight. Of course not fighting at all is the worst mistake you could ever make.
As our bodies age they go through a number of changes. From a fitness standpoint there are really two changes that we need to pay close attention to. The first is our slowing metabolism. Our metabolism is the mechanism in our bodies that dictates how easily we will burn calories and fat. The faster our metabolism the easier it is to keep the fat off. The slower it is the harder it gets. Although it is true that our metabolisms do slow a bit as we age it is a relatively easy thing to manage with a good diet and moderate exercise.
Really so long as your diet is good the majority of the week and you exercise a few times throughout the week, your slowing metabolism should not be that big of a problem for. It is only when you pair a slowing metabolism with poor eating habits and a total lack of exercise that it begins to do you damage. Remember fruits, veggies and lean meats are friends if you want to keep your metabolism roaring.
The other are of fitness that we need to be concerned with as we age is that our bodies do not heal themselves as efficiently as they once did. Our recovery times are longer and strenuous workouts can begin to do more harm than good. This part of fitness, the exercise part, is really all about balance and assessing where you are at in your life. At 20 years old you can do extremely strenuous cardiovascular activities and quickly rebound without any worries. Doing that same exercise at 70 could kill you.
At each stage in our lives the type of exercise that we should be doing in order to maintain a good level of fitness will change. In our younger years through to about 40 you can do a fairly intense workout with worrying too much about it. Once you start heading toward your late 40s and into your 50s you should really start to slow it down. The level by which you slow it down should be dictated by how fit your are.
Really you have to be aware of your own body. If you were running 20 miles at 35 years old and maintained that level of fitness until you were 50 then the amount of exercise that you should cut back on is not going to be the same as a person that could only run half a mile in that same time period.