|After 50, your lifestyle either will make you a winner or a loser!|
Many adults in the previous generation just sat back and took aging passively and let their bodies insidiously rot and decay thinking "taking it easy" and coasting through their retirement years was the way to go.
We now know that is not the way to go if you want to live a healthier, a higher quality of life and, more of an independent lifestyle as you get older.
There are numerous ways to prevent or slow down the effects of aging and muscle loss also known as sarcopenia. However, I will mention just three quick tips that everyone can follow easily and matter of fact, should be doing to prevent the onset of future frailty.
1. Strength Training: Everyone needs to understand walking around the block with friends or speed walking routines are better than nothing but, will not prevent the loss of muscle tissue. You need to incorporate weight training into your routine. Your body craves exercise and more importantly resistance training. Muscles thrive and grow stronger with stress applied to them and strength training is one of the best ways to get that done.
This involves lifting weights to build and prevent muscle breakdown and frailty. Only through strength training will you keep muscle from wasting away and also, will help decrease anabolic resistance from developing to a higher degree than it does. This is a natural phenomenon that takes place as we age, to begin with, but, strength training slows it down considerably. Strength training also helps naturally to increase our hormone production which allows us to stay stronger, feel and look healthier and provides the energy we need to maintain an active lifestyle.
Strength training has often been referred to the " fountain of youth". How peoples life would change both physically and mentally if they took the time to work out just three times a week. And by the way, you do have the time, excuses are for losers and you're not one of those!
Lifting weights and using efficient compound exercises or in other words, working large muscle groups simultaneously, will keep your body strong and keep your hormones level to the point they are building and maintaining your body, not causing it to break down and become a medical liability.
2. Consuming Protein Before Going To Sleep and Rising First Thing In The Morning: One of the ways I work on this and incorporate it into my daily routine is to have a small protein shake before going to bed consisting of casein protein, which is a slow acting protein and it will keep your body feed overnight with the necessary protein to keep from going into that dreaded catabolic or breakdown of skeletal tissue as you sleep.
In fact, the topic of protein consumption for older adults, to begin with, is a separate topic for another blog posting. Most older adults do not get the proper amounts of protein to build or even maintain skeletal muscle, to begin with. Overall nutrition is a major problem as well.
I also, first thing in the morning, not only hydrate myself with plenty fresh water, not coffee, tea, or milk but water, then consume a whey protein shake which is a fast acting protein powder to get the anabolic or muscle building engine started. This gets you going from catabolic to anabolic.
This is an important fact that to many adults neglect. I cannot stress enough how important your nutrition is when it comes to starting your day and body on the right foot and how important it is to get your bodies metabolism jump started with a high protein, low fat dose of nutrients.
3. Adequate Sleep: This is another topic that you can find in about every article on the internet when it comes to staying healthy and maintaining a strong, lean, muscular body after 50. The fact that your body does all its heavy maintenance work both physically and mentally while you are in a deep sleep should tell you why its so important.
Seven- to nine hours sleep will be sufficient but for all of us like a lot of things in the world of fitness, one size does not fit all. Six hours may work for many as well. And I think those of us over fifty know, some nights we just sleep better then others.
Being consistent on what time you go to bed each night and wake up in the morning is vital, your body loves consistency and maintaining those same times as much as possible is crucial for success, Yes, even weekends count too.
Making sure you know how to relax when you get in bed and forget about what did or did not happen that day will help you to de-stress and get to sleep, learn to turn off the motor between your ears.
The Take Home Message Is This, Your body after 50 needs lots of maintenance and preventive work to keep it running in tip top condition. You have been given the responsibility to take care of yourself both physically and mentally, this is no time to sit back and get in this " I don't want to work too hard mode". Now is the time to be proactive, not reactive. The quality of your life and your financial health depend on it. I bet you never hear that from your financial planner do ya.
Through daily exercise and following sound nutritional practices you can keep yourself in the game of life much longer and actually be an active participant instead of sitting on the sidelines and wondering " what the hell happened" the last 10-20 years of your life.
Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness