Age prevention is a big topic these days. We all know that we will age, but do we all know that we can do things to make the process easier? I come from a family of longevity. My maternal grandmother lived until a few months before her 100th birthday, and my paternal grandmother lived to be 97! They were both extremely active, and they both had rituals that revolved around their health. My one grandmother walked everywhere. She never drove a car. At 95 years old she walked to the grocery store and carried her own groceries. She cooked for herself and ate homemade yogurt every day. She knew even then that probiotics were the way to a great immune system. My other grandmother worked in her yard for hours every day. She tended to the garden, trimmed shrubs, and carried bags of dirt her entire life. Obviously both of these women knew how to lift, bend and carry objects. This is why they remained strong and without injuries. Oh, excuse me, my maternal grandmother had arthritis on her fingertips. Yep, that was pretty much it at 99 1/2 years old.
My point? Aging with strength. I can never speak enough about how this is the key to age prevention. We are all so wrapped up into eating a certain way, following the latest named diet, and watching shows of people losing tons of weight, that we have forgotten what our bodies were meant to do. Move. Plain and simply, we were meant to move. In the world of desk jobs, and technology, we don’t have to use our bodies very often. We read on kindles, we sit at desks on the internet and our favorite shows are other people on TV performing tasks. Crossfit games, biggest loser, and sporting events that make us think these people are amazing. That they are a different type of body. What makes them so different from us? I really feel that people only tap into a small part of their physical potential. Most women think they are weaker than they are. I speak often of women telling me that they want to lose 30 pounds but can’t imagine lifting a 12 pound weight. They complain of hurting their backs lifting a gallon of milk out of the trunk because they “moved the wrong way”. People seem to think that this is “just the way it is” since they are older. Well, it isn’t. It certainly is not a fact. I really want you to think of a few of the statements below. Think of how you see yourself aging. Taking care or yourself? Or someone taking care of you.
1. Sarcopenia – the medical term for age related muscle loss. It is said that we lose around 5% of muscle mass and strength per decade after age 30. UNLESS, we are involved in resistance and/or strength training.
2. I have read that 50% of adults over the age of 55 will have a fall that will alter their lives forever. That sounds tragic. I am 53. If you engage in strength training, not only will you probably not fall, if you do, you will either regain your balance, or get back up with maybe a skinned knee.
3. Grip strength has shown to have a direct correlation to mortality. Dr. Oz just stated that grip strength has a correlation to whether or not people will have a stroke or not.
Yoga, Zumba, Curves….all good, except for one main thing. You can only get stronger by placing a demand on a muscle that it is not used to. To get stronger you have to build muscle. Don’t get me wrong, those types of activities are a great addition to your age prevention plan.
Strength training engages nearly every system in a positive way.
You use brain power to visualize completing the exercise or move.
You get blood flowing through the entire body increasing circulation and heart rate.
You build muscular balance and coordination.
Your bones are built by placing a regular demand on them, thus preventing osteopenia and osteoporosis.
By building strength your muscles get bigger, which is directly responsible for a higher metabolism.
A higher metabolism means a body that burns more calories, even while resting.
I could go on and on, and I will in the future on this site.
My passion in life is getting people to understand that we do have control over many aspects of our health. We can choose to eat healthy, we can choose to get stronger. We are amazing creatures with tons of potential. Make a plan to get stronger. The body will get weaker with age, unless you give it some challenges in a controlled atmosphere. Don’t you want to see how great and strong your body can really be?
Prevent age related muscle loss. Put that at the top of your agenda for the rest of your life!
Always searching for ways for us to achieve optimal health,