Discover How to Live Longer……..
and feel a whole lot better.
Here’s something I have discovered over the years and it certainly works well for me and for many of my friends. “I am a firm believer in moving more and NOT less as you age. Done regularly, it is the one simple thing that will greatly enhance your long-term health and fitness.” So why not join me and give it your best shot. You will be amazed at how you feel and you will love the results.
And the reason I know it works is because I have been doing some form of regular exercise and eating clean food for more than forty-five years – the results speak for themselves. I take no medications, have no lifestyle diseases, and can still handle a two-hour surfing session without a break at age seventy.
Now that we are all living longer than our forefathers because of greatly improved technology, research, new drugs, and medical care but we still have to do our bit if we want a better quality of life as we age.
Supplements and drugs are not the answer to a functional body…..it requires more than that.
Unfortunately, sitting, exercise and premature death is a much more common theme today.
So many of us are sitting more and for longer and doing less exercise (what I call resting and rusting), whether that be in our daily grind at work or when we reach retirement age. So if we don’t take care of ourselves our bodies will become increasingly weaker and unable to support us into a disease-free and independent ripe old age.
The US National Center for Biotechnology Information in an article titled “Skeletal muscle as a regulator of the longevity protein, Klotho” taken from Frontiers in Physiology says; “There is abundant evidence that exercise may be effective in preventing, delaying or reversing the effect of age on tissue health and functioning.”
Lifestyle and lack of regular exercise are now well-proven to have a close relationship with the common chronic diseases that abound today. To understand the basics of exercise and chronic disease I recommend you check out this article from the Mayo Clinic: How can exercise improve a chronic condition?
They also go on to state that, “Mankind has long sought means to extend longevity and counteract the effects of aging on physical functioning. Modern-day scientific discoveries have made considerable strides in our biological understanding of contributing factors in the aging process. Such discoveries are critical for the development of therapeutic strategies to prevent, delay or reverse age-related declines.”
Check out this video about Aging Backwards……after watching it I am sure you will be more than impressed with the benefits of exercise as you age.
Skeletal muscle is the largest organ of the human body, and it comprises over 40% of the body’s mass in non-obese individuals. It is therefore not surprising that alterations to the skeletal muscle contractile unit have profound effects on overall organismal health.
Age-related declines are manifest by a decreased ability for aged skeletal muscle to respond to physiological stimuli such as muscle loading or acute injury. Indeed, older adults often exhibit an age-related reduction in the number and size of muscle fibers, known as Sarcopenia. I urge you to check out this link as sarcopenia is one of the biggest health issues for baby boomers and it is rarely spoken about but actually happens to everyone.
In short, sarcopenia is muscle loss and muscle loss is the loss of independence. But the good news is……you can do something about it and the earlier you start the better off you will be.
So from their findings, it is very easy to see Why Exercise Is Vital in Preventing Serious Health Issues in Old Age.
I hate to state the obvious but one of the most important things that will contribute to a strong and healthy mind and body is regular aerobic and resistance exercise and the benefits of exercising well into your senior years will determine whether you enjoy the quality of life as well as longevity.
Muscle mass is what keeps us fit and strong.
Bigger muscles help to burn calories thus maintaining a healthy weight. Researchers tell us that at some point during our thirties we start losing muscle mass and function but exercise does slow this progression considerably.
It is generally thought the physically inactive people will lose between 3% – 5% of their muscle mass every ten years after the age of thirty and this muscle deterioration can be the cause of serious health problems in later life.
Quite an alarming thought isn’t it………but easy to do something about.
Strong muscles give us bone strength and good balance but when we lose muscle mass it could result in the loss of our mobility and ultimately our independence in older age.
The good news is that even if you have always lived a sedentary life, or you have stopped exercising as you have aged, it is never too late to rebuild lost muscle mass and regain strength.
How to Regain Muscle Mass and Strength
The best exercise to build muscle mass is weight lifting and resistance exercises. But don’t let this frighten you……..I am not talking full-on bodybuilding here although you are quite welcome to give it a go.
A recent study done with both males and females between the ages of 72 – 98 years who lifted weights three times per week over a period of ten weeks reported a muscle mass increase in their thighs of almost 3%. After 3 months this same group showed an amazing increase in vitality and endurance when they were able to increase their ability to walk longer (and further) from 25 minutes to 35 minutes.
Regardless of your age, you will be able to increase your strength and endurance within days of starting a weight lifting and resistance program. This should be balanced with a cardio program as well.
In addition to increasing muscle mass which will get you going again, an added bonus of weight training is that the brain participates by sending signals to the nervous system regarding which muscles will be needed for the movement you are about to perform. The more you exercise, the stronger this signal becomes, making your muscles stronger faster.
Another vital reason for seniors to exercise is to increase endurance.
As we age our endurance starts to decrease which impairs our mobility and makes us more susceptible to lifestyle diseases such as heart disease which often leads to premature death. Lack of exercise in old age can also cause severe fatigue, muscle cramps, and difficulty in breathing properly.
When you exercise well into your later years you will also greatly benefit from an increase in balance and flexibility. The older we get the more brittle our bones become and good balance will prevent serious injuries from falls associated with old age, which could rob you of your independence as well as your overall health.
Discovering the road to a strong, fit, and healthy body
It all starts with gaining good muscle mass early on in life and then carrying on the good habit. But as I said earlier, it is never too late to start and reap some of the benefits.
Are you thinking of starting a new exercise program to help kickstart your health and well-being?
Then before you do, don’t forget to have a check-up with your family doctor first and next, get a personal trainer to write an appropriate program to get you on the right track and help save you from any injury problems.
Stay strong – cheers – John – your Active Ageing Mentor and Coach.
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