Sunday, June 23, 2019

I’m too old to start training!

credit to: @gemaodison

Age is just a number

One of my occupational hazards is public intrigue. Have you ever found at a BBQ (for instance), when people get to know what you do for a living, you tend to get asked a lot of questions? For me it's 'how do I get rid of this bit?' (grabbing hold belly fat/love handles)? 'Or how do I get rid of these?'(waving arms in the air, shaking the 'bingo wings'?). I used to go into depth, but realised it wasn't useful. I'd then get excuses why they are overweight, or and a history of exercise and diet fails. But then I also get statements like 'I don't have the time', or my favourite, 'I'm too old for that exercise malarky now'. Well if you want to get older sooner, then don't exercise, as plenty of evidence suggests that actually, it's just as important, if not more so, to increase activity as you start heading towards the top of 'that hill'.

What we already know

'Engaging in regular physical exercise or activities has been shown to promote good health, reduce your chances of developing many diseases, and assist you in living a longer, happier and healthier life.' That doesn't change no matter how old you think you are!
Al (AKA Captaincies. GB) Age 73
Strength training for the older gentleman

The average 30-35 year old man will experience roughly a 25 percent decline in his muscle strength and tone by the age of 70-75, and up to a 50% decline approaching the age of 90! In an effort to preserve muscle tone, bone health*, balance and posture, we need to incorporate strength and resistance training. This can include using resistance machines, free weights, such as dumbbells or barbells, resistance or elastic bands, weighted vests, suspension training and other special exercises that use your body weight to simulate resistance against gravity.

*Strong muscles maintain and produce stronger bones. Having strong bones is a key way to reduce the risk of fractures secondary to osteoporosis as we age.

'Nan down'

Nan down is a paramedics 'code' for a fallen elderly person.  Inactivity, poor nutrition, and age-related changes, all help to reduce bone mass at the rate of approximately 1% per year after age 40. As a result, after a minor fall, our bones are more fragile and thus likely to break after minor stress or tension.

Finally, resistance workouts, especially those that include exercises focusing on balance and power, play an important role to increase strength and stability. This ultimately can increase confidence and wellbeing, helping you to remain active, and decrease the possibility of fractures due to falls.

Reverse aging

A 2011 study published in the journal Sport Medicine examined the effects of strength training on aging muscles. It found that strength training increased insulin sensitivity and reduced pain and inflammation from arthritis. The researchers noticed that the effects of aging were reversed!
'Big John' Age 70 (also recently grade graded purple belt in kick boxing!)

Boost your 'T' hormone

Time also tends to decrease the amount of male hormones in the body. This usually results in lower energy levels. But incredibly, just 12 weeks of resistance training significantly increased the level of free testosterone and DHEA, according to a study published by Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology...and a nice little bonus, you're less likely to need the 'little blue wonder' too.

Get over it and get started

If you used to exercise when you were younger, careful not to fall into the trap of keeping up with your younger self- you'll hurt yourself for sure. Focus on exercises that use a lot of muscles, they will give you a bigger return  Use lighter weights with higher reps. If you are unsure where to start, drop the ego and hire a professional. Using the proper technique will help prevent injuries and keep you motivated.

If you're living in pain or finding it hard getting up out of a chair without needing a '1-2-3' rocking motion to get up, you can do something about it. Stop using your age as an excuse! Start looking after yourself, if not for you, but for the sake of your family.
Set goals based on what's 'enough' for you. ie you don't have to be able to run a marathon, or lift a car. If keeping active, maintaining heart health, or keeping up with the kids is important to you, let that be your focus.

Watch my video 'get over getting out of comfort zone' to learn about the cycle of change to help you get started.

Keep it real guys



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