Getting Older; Fight It All The Way!!

Posted: June 7, 2008 in exercise, Sports Medicine
Tags: , , , , , ,

One thing is for sure, you will age, but that doesn’t mean you should go “quietly.” It is widely known that exercise and diet can significantly slow the effects of aging. The problem is that many don’t follow this. Over the years it slowly creeps up on you. The pounds start accumulating, the muscles get weaker, the joints get stiffer and before you know it you are out of shape! This is often the reason why injuries and pain arise. Years of neglecting your body, the aging effect and continuing to do the same things expecting different results. Many people take better care of their pets or cars than the most valuable thing you have—your body (and mind)! One of the best things you can do is resistance train and eat sensibly. Resistance training helps to offset the loss of lean body muscle that natural decreases with aging. Loss of strength is associated with decreased function, increased risk of falling and injury. Don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights either (obviously progress to heavier weights). That means you too ladies! Don’t worry you won’t get big! You can’t, you don’t have the hormones. Anyway, studies done by the University of Miami have shown that at about the age of 50 our muscles (especially the Type II strength and power fibers) significantly begin to atrophy and if not properly stimulated will eventually become innervated by the Type I, endurance fibers, so not only do you get weaker but also slower! This then is irreversible. Scary huh? Other studies have reported that men and women lose muscle and bone mass as they age beginning at age 30. This can be off set through resistance training. Keeping your muscles functionally strong helps to decrease the aging effect, improves our ability to absorb shock, control motion, stimulate bone growth, and ultimately lead a more productive, independent and injury free life. Research has shown that it is important to lift weights at the right intensity to stimulate the Type II fibers. Light weights at higher reps are not the answer. Developing functional strength is more important for health and fitness in older adults than developing isolated muscle groups. Train movement not muscles. Don’t wait, get out there and get “fighting”! After all, aren’t you worth it? Make sure you seek qualified assistance to get you started on the right track.

Good luck and don’t stop!

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

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