Regardless of your age, or how out of condition you think you are at the present time, it is never too late to start an exercise program. You just have to change your philosophy on your life, with a more caring attitude to YOU.
The older you are, the more important it is that you exercise. All the science research points to this. It is a no-brainer. What older people cannot afford to lose is the little muscle they still have that assists them in their daily lives and mobility. Its simple, like most things in life: “use it or lose it, but don’t abuse it!”, which applies to all ages.
Some studies show that there’s a typical loss of about 1% of muscle mass or lean body mass (LBM) per year from about age 50. There is a slight increase after 60 and by age 70, there may be up to a loss of 25% relative to what it was at age 25, depending on the individual and if there’s been no strength-training in their lives. What a scary thought, isn’t it!
Loss of muscle LBM has many negative impact on peoples’ lives: strength declines, reduced metabolic rates, postural problems, reduced fitness, increased tendency to lug around unwanted bodfat, weakened resistance to injury and illness and deterioration in physical appearance. Another big consequence in old age is a significant reduction in mobility, partly due to weakened skeletal muscles. And that’s only a few likely negative consequences.
I have been doing strength training for over 23 years now and have helped hundreds of people of all ages with their body re-engineering goals, with over 80% success rate. I believe strength training is one of the most important things you can do for your appearance and health. Strength training is critical for building muscle, maintaining muscle or more importantly, minimizing muscle deterioration and atrophy.
Muscle is like precious gems – you need to build it and then preserve it. It is the fountain of youth, your magic youth potion.
Stronger muscles produce health benefits that adds to your life. It builds your sense of vitality. Building muscle contributes to reducing the impact of ageing. Strength training helps you stay young for your years. However, strength training is not enough. One needs to combine it with regular structured stretching, consistent cardiovascular work, healthy nutrition, adequate rest and recuperation and a healthy lifestyle.
All this helps you off-set the on-set of ageing.
I have seen them, so perhaps have you. People with that glow. People that are filled with that life-force, that all-important sense of vitality. People who seemed to have gotten closer to the fountain of youth. Most, if not all of them, have consistently and persistently worked on their strength training.
They’ve simply decided to build muscle. No more thinking, no further analysing. They just DID IT. They took action. Think about it – you’re made up of more muscle than anything else. I mean you’re covered with skeleton muscles (that help you move and do what you do every single day), your heart’s a muscle and your stomach’s a muscle too. What do muscles do? Keep it simple … they need to work. It makes sense to ‘work’ your muscles then, doesn’t it?
Muscles are one of the very things that keeps us all alive. But hey, if slowing down the ageing process by building muscle is not convincing enough for you what about if I say that it could help you lose fat. Yep, that’s right, do you want to lose unwanted fat? Well, build muscle. Period!
There are so many organizations and people in the world today that give out fat-loss diet plans that don’t include strength training. This is not ideal. It robs the body of the little muscle it has, making fat loss even more difficult because of reduction of one’s metabolic rate.
This is so common today in many weight-loss programs all around the world, where individuals think that some new ‘fad diet’ will be the answer or some magic supplement. It does not work that way. “That way” is not sustainable and is a huge reason for many victims of the ‘yo-yo’ diet symptoms and millions of dis-illusioned and disappointed individuals with the best of intentions.
Building muscle is the only way you can improve your body-shape and this is achieved through progressively increasing your muscle-fat ratio.
Have a go today, if you haven’t done so already – start a structured strength training program for the most important person in the world to you – YOU. That way, the people that depend on you – your spouse, your kids, your employer, your clients – they get the BEST YOU too. It could be one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your life. More important than the dream house you intend to buy one day. Build that dream house in you, first.
We’re all reminded that people are living longer now. What’s more important I believe is adding LIFE (vitality) in to your years, not just adding years to your life. Most aged people spend the last 20 years with various levels of discomfort and immobility.
Remember though: when you exercise, try to do it as efficiently and effectively as possible, under the safety umbrella. And, don’t try to do everything yourself if it isn’t your area of expertise, you can sometime do more harm than good to yourself.
Let go of all self-imposed limitations and fears and ask for help. It takes a lot of courage to seek help from an appropriately skilled professional with the relevant experience and credentials.
There are a lot of excellent exercise professionals out there, those who give you the results you desire – with care.
Best of luck!
Until next time …