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The Effects of Fitness on the Aging Process

A general tendency toward age related decline in human organ systems is well documented, including the cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, neurologic, and musculoskeletal systems.1 In the musculoskeletal system, bone loses density, the strength and flexibility of muscle decreases, ligaments and tendons exhibit diminished compliance, and the structure of articular cartilage degenerates. Associated with these age-related changes are increased rates of osteoarthritis (OA), osteopenia, sarcopenia, and other conditions. 1 Aging is also associated with obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other leading causes of morbidity and mortality.1,2