50 is the new 30, or is it the other way around?
Modern medicine and better knowledge about health are helping us all to live longer. However, as we age our bodies start to break down. This is completely normal, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot combat it. After the age of about 30, a process called sarcopenia starts to take its roots in our body. This is the natural process of losing muscle mass due to aging. If left unchecked, this can lead to a significant amount of muscle mass loss over the next few decades. In the past, this might not be a big deal, but with our average lifespan creeping up above 80, quality of life as we age is becoming a much more relevant topic for most of us. Fortunately, we can fight the aging process through diet and exercise.
Your golden age should be a stronger age.
As you age and the process of sarcopenia takes place, it is possible to lose up to 5% muscle mass every decade. This doesn’t seem like much on paper, but if you live for the next four decades, this can be a significant drop. Many times that an elderly person falls and gets hurt, it is because of their lack of strength and balance that has eroded over time. Even though you cannot completely fight off the aging process, as you should embrace it as a part of life a lot of people don’t get the pleasure of experiencing, you can make your golden age a stronger and healthier age. One of the key processes to do so is to incorporate strength training.
Strength train for life.
With the popularity of bodybuilding exploding in the 1970s, exercise hit the mainstream in America. As much good as this era did for us, it also created some misconceptions about strength training. It was viewed as a purely aesthetic sport, which puts on tons of bulky muscle mass that looks good on a stage, but not necessarily in a dress when you’re going out to dinner on Saturday night. This scared away a lot of people from strength training, and the aging benefits of it were lost for the past few decades. As research has grown, it has shown that strength training actually plays a vital part in controlling the aging process. You don’t need to look like Arnold to make strength training a part of your life. When you train with weights, you actually slow down the sarcopenia process. This leads to greater muscle mass as you age, which can give you a much higher quality of life. Strength training also increases your metabolism, strengthens your bones and heart, and increases your cognitive function as you age.
Where to start?
Do you have an extra hour a week? How about two? Because in reality, that is all it takes to start the process of fighting to age. You don’t need to be a gym rat to reap the benefits of strength training. All too often, people think it takes hours and hours in the gym every week, so the task seems so overwhelming that they never get started. I always ask our new members at Next Generation Training Center if they have an hour a week. Most people can realistically say yes. If you add in one to two hours of strength training a week, you might not get the six-pack abs you’re looking for, but you will be getting stronger and building lean muscle mass. It doesn’t take much time each week to reap the health benefits of strength training. I would love the opportunity to help you. If you have ANY questions on health, fitness, aging, etc., please email them to me at [email protected]