An athlete's age may be less important to performance than persistent practice

Why could some 70-year-olds compete in triathlons and some got winded walking up a flight of stairs?

In a 2010 study titled "Do or Decline," published in the Journal of Health Psychology, Baker and four other Canadian researchers sampled more than 12,000 people. Questions covered everything from health conditions to cognitive capacity to social engagement and physical activity. Results showed that "inactivity was a much stronger predictor of functional limitations than either chronic disease or being socially unengaged with life."

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