Remember this: the older you get, the more important muscle becomes.
Believe me, I have seen the anti-ageing effects of continuous muscle-training in all ages, particularly the aged. Muscle is the real potion of youth, the real anti-ageing substance.
It is very important that you factor this in to your life now: build muscle and preserve it with everything you have got. You don’t need to look try to build so much muscle to try to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was younger or the current Mr Olympia, nor do you need to look like Ms Figure Olympia either.
However, the more muscle you have and keep will lower the risk that your last 20 years of your life isn’t the most unpleasant experience of your life.
It is your ‘preventative insurance’ for the quality of life you will have in the last quarter of your life.
Plan now. Act now.
If you’ve noticed, most of today’s messages in the health industry focuses on us doing everything we can to reduce our risks of heart attack other heart-related illnesses and the benefits in the short-term (ie. Weight-loss, muscle building etc). Well and good.
But it is the long-term that we should all be focused on. Don’t get me wrong, these messages are important but I believe they lose their relevance as we move in to the second half of our lives, particularly after 60 years. I have concluded this in my observations of men and women past 50 years in the gym over the last 23 years.
As we move through our 50s and then 60s, one of our main focuses in life is about thwarting the natural progression of ageing towards, which is ‘slowing down’. When the body ‘slows down’, it fundamentally means that the body’s systems won’t work as well as they once did, and you don’t have to look very far to observe examples of this. Look at your own family or extended family. Are your perceptions of your older parents and grandparents changed? Are they showing symptoms of ageing already? What about you?
This is where your ‘muscles’ are able to assist you. But first you have to be willing to help them.
The deterioration of self, due to ageing is inevitable and some ‘rust’ will form and illness can set you back. However, the potion of youth – your muscles can ‘off-set’ the on-set of ageing. Specifically, it is what you eat and do to support them that can slow down the deterioration rate (like the depreciation rate of a car).
This, my friends, is the ultimate benefit of all those hours of sweating with the weights in the gym – it is more of a long term strategy, like superannuation. You will have the POWER to make the most of the 20 or 30 or so years ahead.
Well, people use to ‘kick-the-bucket’ naturally much younger in the recent past. Now, medical advances has meant we are living much longer than our forefathers did. Living longer is important but it is not the most important thing. Why would you want to live out the rest of your life not being able to carry out normal daily activities pain-free. I think it is more important to make the most of the extra 20 to 30 years.
This, however, is dependent on you finding ways to keep your body (especially your muscles) and brain going.
From what I have deduced from helping hundreds of elderly people in the gym over the last 20 + years is: that the key to living long and having a quality life after 60 is not just to avoid illnesses. No, the key is mostly – your muscles.
Yes, your muscles!
They do more than just move you around and ‘flex’ and extend when you need them to. They hold the keys to your anti-ageing formula but the important thing to remember is your muscles are more vulnerable than you think. If you don’t already know, apart from the aesthetic benefits of muscle, it does much more for you. After water, protein is the 2nd most abundant substance in your body and protein is the building blocks of your precious potion: muscles.
Muscle helps every one of your body’s cells and organs. It helps reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and ensures that your brain gets the fuel it needs to function optimally to ensure that the body’s functions operates optimally too.
So, if your body is to have any chance at all of enduring the retirement plans you’ve made for the years ahead, it needs your help. NOW.
You need to treat the investment you make in your muscles now and in to your old age as you would your financial security in old age.
How, you may be asking yourself?
Here are my top pointers:
- Ensure you consume adequate daily protein levels.
- I have concluded that most adults consume less than adequate levels of daily protein for their age and lifestyles. Understand this, just like a car, your body amasses normal wear and tear as the years pile up. Your body needs protein for repair and muscle re-building. You need more of some things when you’re older than you did when you were younger and PROTEIN is one of them.
- Your muscles have memory and need a re-minder
- We all need some reminder in life that we are ‘needed’ and the same goes for muscles. You have muscles everywhere and it is vital that you focus on working your ‘whole body’ when you train with weighted resistance.
- Design a program that includes: resistance training, relevant cardio exercises and flexibility and balance routines to help stave off the debilitating effects of ageing.
It is vital that you remember that your immune system ‘steals’ from your muscles every single day, just to function normally, but particularly when you’re ill or it notices a ‘foreign’ substance in the body. You can start to lose a lot of muscle if you have more than 3 days of immobility and being bed-rested.
Don’t speed up the process of ageing by resting more than you should. Lying around robs you of muscle which you cannot afford to lose. Stay active as much as you possibly can.
“See” the nexus between the effort you invest in your muscles now and the quality of your daily life in your old age.
Save yourself first – NOW for a better quality life in your future. Invest in your muscles today for a better life tomorrow. It would certainly make your mobility during your travel plans in old age much more enjoyable.
All the best in your decision.
Until next time,