The Louisiana Tigerettes, a winning women’s basketball team, is proving how effective exercise can be in keeping you young.
The Tigerettes have an impressive record of 195 wins and only 5 losses, and they have earned seven gold medals at the U.S. Senior Olympics.
The youngest player on the team is age 65 and the oldest is 75 years old. An inspiration to basketball players of any age, the Tigerettes say they are in the best shape of their lives. They work out four to five times a week and pride themselves on being fit and toned. Basketball, they say, has kept them feeling and looking younger. When asked how they feel about themselves when they look in the mirror, team member Mary Bendsen even ventures to say, “hot.”
Mavis Albin, aged 75, the oldest member of the team says she sat behind a desk for 38 years before joining the team. “Three-on-three women’s basketball changed my life. It’s just the most remarkable thing I have ever been involved in,” she told CBS News. (See video below)
In its report on the Tigerettes, CBS News pointed to several new studies finding that exercise can dramatically slow the aging process. According to the report, common medical wisdom had been that people lose 8% of their muscle mass to fat every decade after the age of 40. But studies show that exercise can play a dramatic role in slowing or even reversing this process, and maintaining strength, mobility and balance as a person ages.
As demonstrated by MRI images shown in the CBS video below, the lean muscle structure of a 74-year-old triathlete who constantly exercises to maintain strength can look similar to that of a typical 40-year-old.
“We are not destined to go from lean flank steak in our 40s, if you think visually of what our muscles look like, to flabby rump roast,” Pittsburgh orthopedic surgeon Vonda Wright told CBS News. “We do not have to become that way if we interject exercise throughout a lifetime,” she says.
For inspiration, watch this CBS News video of the Tigerettes in action »
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