With age, we lose muscle tissue and our muscles become more rigid and less toned. Weight training and stretching improve strength and flexibility, though we can’t completely counteract this natural course of aging.
Our organs lose their extra reserve, too. The walls of the heart become thicker, the arteries are stiffer, and the heart rate slows as we age. Aging of the heart is a major reason it may be harder to exercise vigorously when we are older as we could when we were 20. Yet maintaining regular aerobic activity -- even just walking -- can improve our stamina.
When should you worry? Get an immediate evaluation if you have chest pain, especially with dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, or fainting. Those are possible signs of a heart attack. Problems with your heart rate could cause lightheadedness, dizziness, or fatigue.
One in 10 people age 65 or older have anemia, or a low level of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. It can cause fatigue and can be treated with iron supplements or medications to spur the body to produce more red blood cells.
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