Most everyone knows that strength training is the best way to build larger and more importantly stronger muscles. Progressive muscle loss as we age is responsible for multiple problems but the two most obvious are the ability to function, in other words, doing our everyday activities and this leads to less physical activity, falls and a decrease in our bodies metabolism and hormone production.
Now, this is a problem I see more with the elderly clients I see and of course the process started much earlier. With a loss of muscle, we lose the ability to burn calories at rest which in turn slows down our metabolism and now the excess calories if nutritional adjustments are not made turns to fat instead of getting consumed for energy.
Remember, just because we get older does not mean we should automatically get heavier. Again this generally comes from eating an excessive amount of food, poor quality food on top of that and a lack of intense physical activity.
Our muscles are like the engine in that car of yours sitting in the driveway, muscle is living tissue it needs fuel to operate so even at rest and yes even at sleep muscle is burning those calories. It is like your engine idling at the red light, it needs the gas to keep running does it not?
So does your muscle its burning fuel 24/7, adipose tissue is not!
Without muscle mass which we are all loosing unless you are strength training, you will slow your metabolism down. The old adage ” I am getting older and this is what happens when you get old” isn’t true ladies and gentlemen.
And for those of you who said, look I am still the same weight I was when I was 30 years old but now your 60 or 70 years old and have not been involved in some sort of strength training program, there is a good chance you’re in the category known as being skinny fat.
You must get back control of what is happening to your body and do something about it and that doesn’t include taking a pill or some other diet fad that’s out there. For most seniors in this country, the problem is taking too much medication in pill form right?
It takes work, nothing good comes easy, you have to commit and work to get the results you want as you get older and it becomes harder as we age.
A simple weight training program working the basic compound movements while keeping it simple will begin to pay dividends if you just start and remain committed to seeing the long-term goal of developing a stronger, leaner body in those retirement years.
To get yourself strong and remain as independent as you possibly can, you begin to get control of your life and cut down those outrageous medical expenses then watch your health and self-esteem soar.
You are not happy until it’s you that is calling the shots in your own life not someone or something else and it all starts with your health!
I advocate this to all my total joint replacement patients that have led a sedentary lifestyle even prior to their pain levels increasing due to osteoarthritis and eventually joint replacement.
I recommend they springboard from the physical rehabilitation program onto a strength and conditioning program to capitalize on their decreased pain and commitment that they had to make to attend the PT sessions while rehabilitating once they get medical clearance.
As the old saying goes ” the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is right now”.
I can help you achieve those goals or answer any questions you have regarding getting stronger and more functionally independent. Leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Haynes PTA, CPT
Total Joint Fitness LLC