We all know that exercise is good for us. We’ve all heard that exercise reduces stress and boosts endorphins to improve our mood. But few people realize that exercise is so much more important than just being a “feel good” activity. Where do you find the motivation to get up and “just do it!” Well, perhaps reading this will help!
There is a huge difference between a "typical" 25 year old compared to a "typical" 55 year old. I'm not just talking about the dreaded wrinkles that make some women go screaming to the dr in search of botox or face lifts, or the receeding hair line that many men deal with. I'm focused on our bodies and how we feel and function compared to our youthful counterparts.
It starts out slowly, but as we age we notice that things like mowing the lawn are harder so we start to pay a yard service. Perhaps we struggle to haul the groceries up a flight of stairs, or maybe just have trouble walking up the stairs! We begin to search for parking spots closer and closer to the front, and avoid taking the stairs at all costs. We used to enjoy playing in the floor with our children but as grandchildren come around we are more likely to sit and supervise because we are just too tired or achy to play. But what if I told you that studies have shown that only 30 percent of the difference in our bodies between young and old are related to aging! That’s right. Only 30 percent! You see, muscle knows no age! The 70% decline that the average American experiences in their body as they age is self-inflicted! We age our bodies by our daily choices to live a less active lifestyle!
Since our parents and grandparents were born, society has made some dramatic changes and technology has advanced in more ways than we could have imagined. But these changes have placed fewer demands on our muscular systems and our bodies are showing the impact!
- Just think,two or three generations ago, many people heated with wood and that wood was cut with hand saws.
- Elevators and escalators were rare and stairs were the common means of getting from floor to floor.
- Schools were neighborhood based and many children walked to and from school.
- Housewives spent hours beating rugs, wringing mops, pushing heavy vaccums and irons, and doing loads of laundry by hand and hanging them up to dry.
- Free time was spent playing recreational sports and just playing outside! Remember when kids knew how to climb trees, jump rope, and enjoyed playing hide-n-seek and playing tag? Today’s children are more interested in sitting in front of a television or playing video and computer games for hours on end.
- Food used to be a precious commodity and families raised much of what they ate. Food is now less expensive based on the percentage of our average income spent on food, and the choices that we make at the grocery store are far from healthy.
But all is not lost! Adults, even much older adults, experience dramatic increases to their strength & health when they start an exercise program which includes weight training. Think weight training is just for athletes or people who want bulky muscles? Think again! Adding strength training to your lifestyle will:
- Improve your bone density
- Reduce body fat – regardless of age!
- Strengthen joints which reduces risk of injuries
- Keep fast twitch muscle fibers sharp which will improve reaction time. Slow reaction is why so many older people have trouble falling.
- Reduce or alleviate back and arthritis pain
- Keeps blood sugar levels balanced which helps control diabetes
- Increases blood flow throughout your body! This means better focus and cognition!
- Strengthen muscle so that you can pick up groceries or carry your children/grandchildren around!
- Keep muscles toned so skin isn't as saggy - prevents or eliminates bat wings as we age!
Strength training isn’t about getting big muscles. It IS about staying healthy. If you want to keep your body and your mind within 70% of what you had as a young adult, then start now. Start weight training TODAY! Weight training isn’t just for athletes…it’s for YOU!
We are very fortunate to live in a city like Murfreesboro TN where living a healthy lifestyle is so easy! Here are some of the most popular gyms in our city:
I hope that this will motivate you to start a strength training program today. Strength training can also be done in your home but joining a local gym may give you the motivation you need to leave the comfort of your home and "Just Do It!" Here's to aging healthy, happy, and strong!