I’ve been known to say, “It’s never too late to make a difference” with regard to health and fitness. People tend to move less as they get older and consequently will lose muscle because there’s less use for them. For this reason, it’s essential to become more active by incorporating weight training, aerobics, cardiovascular training, high intensity interval training and good nutrition. Weight training forces your body to respond in a positive way to become leaner, fitter and stronger! I call it functional strength: in your daily life you want to be strong enough that the demands of everyday life become a second thought, such as, lifting your kids, hoisting a 30 lb bad of dog food, whatever.
For the older individual, these changes can impact their quality of life more dramatically than someone in their 30s. Health and physical strength really is the fountain of youth because everything we do is related to physical strength and energy. I have certainly taken my own advice. At 55 years old I’ve been weight training for 40 years, competed in 43 bodybuilding competitions including winning the National Championships in 1997 at 40 years old. Because I also include aerobics and cardiovascular training I feel like I am in better shape now than in my younger years!
The key is to do something for your health and fitness every day, any mode of exercise that gets you moving is good as long as you get your heart rate up, a 15 minute walk is 100% more than nothing. Dr. Henry S. Lodge says, “Some 70% of premature death and aging is lifestyle related. Heart attacks, strokes, the common cancers, diabetes, most falls, fractures and serious injuries, and many more illnesses are primarily caused by the way we live.” Aging is inevitable, it’s a slow process, grey hair, heart rate decline, skin degenerates, so you will look old no matter what, but you don’t have to act old or more important feel old!
Once you become more active your heart and circulation functions increase to supply blood and oxygen to your muscles. The muscles themselves become strong, supple and more coordinated. Immune function increases to repair the ongoing wear and tear. Your brain changes too, as it gets these consistent physical signals from your body it develops a chemistry of optimism.
This is the good life and it is waiting out there for you. A life characterized by strong, aerobically fit muscles, a healthy heart, lean body, good bones and a good immune system. Just remember, doing something is 100% more than nothing in regards to health and fitness. You heard it from me, “It’s never too late to make a difference!”