That Aging Thing

20140712_112806
Yeah…. the benefits of… maturing…  I have fun messing with people….haha 😉

Middle age.

What is that exactly? What does it look like and how is one supposed to behave ? Actually, I’m sure to the disconcertion of a few, I didn’t read the book on what you are supposed to do, look like, be like, dress etc  but tossed it out the window to freely do my own thing 😉

I have no intention of playing by someone else’s rules about life.

You see even though I’m not sure what it’s supposed to look like, I’m totally digging where I am, who I am, and what I’ve learned to this point in my life.

To have knowledge, confidence in who I am, life lessons learned, and a healthy sense of humor intact are things I embrace having. It’s empowering to know yourself and be comfy in your own skin.

Turning into an athlete in my middle aged years and getting strong and chiseled when I could be going to marshmallow fluff is a huge bonus.

Seriously though, as a woman who is (technically) older I do read with some interest articles on health, strength and overall wellness as people age. I really don’t think about age nor do I let it define a single thing I think about taking on. But there is some belief, perhaps misguided, that age is the culprit for loss of strength and physical decline. I don’t want to go there… I want to stay strong.

I mean, is it age that ’causes us to get weak and unable to do things? Or is it the simple truth that we don’t use what we have and lose it ? Do we get frail because of age? or is it that we’ve not intentionally kept working our bodies so they are conditioned for these activities as we get older ?

We become sedentary which leads to feeling tired which leads to not wanting to do things and that in turn slowly erodes our physical strength.

I talk a lot about the importance of having muscle on your body. It’s a good thing. Metabolically it burns 6 calories an hour while resting while the same pound of fat burns a measly 2 calories at rest.

The main reason we lose muscle ? Lack of physical activity….

From the time you are born until you are about in your 30’s your muscles continue to get larger and stronger.  However, at some point in your 30’s you begin to lose muscle mass and function. People who are inactive can lose 3-5% of their muscle mass past the age of 30.

The technical term for it is sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of muscle mass, strength, and functionality. Like osteoporosis, sarcopenia is a multifactorial disease process that may result from sub-optimal hormone levels, inadequate dietary protein, other nutritional imbalances, lack of exercise, oxidative stress, and inflammation.

Sarcopenia and osteoporosis are related conditions, and one often accompanies or follows the other. Muscles generate the mechanical stress required to keep our bones healthy. When this muscle activity is reduced, it increases our susceptibility to a loss of bone mass, often initiating a vicious circle of declining health and functionality.

Loss of muscle means loss of strength and mobility. This can lead to falls and the physical weakness many associate as “age” related…. loss of muscle leads to a weakening of the body.

Is there a treatment? Yes! it’s called exercise specifically resistance or strength training… exercise that increases strength with resistance bands or weights. Research has shown a progressive resistance training in older adults can have results in as little as two weeks.

Nutrition  also plays a vital and important role in maintaining our muscles.

Eat high quality protein each day, aim for about 30 grams per meal. What does “30 grams” mean in real-life terms? It’s equal to a three-egg omelet with ½ cup hard cheese or 1 cup of Greek yogurt with an ounce of almonds mixed in or a cooked 4-ounce hamburger or 5-ounce salmon fillet. Eat adequate protein, but remember eating excess only leaves your body or stores as fat, it does not build more muscle 😉

Get your heart pumping too… don’t forget it’s also a muscle that needs work. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day a minimum of 3 days a week. Brisk walking, cycling, rowing or running all are good heart pumping exercises.

No matter where you are in life you can start making changes and have improvement  gaining more strength, energy and flexibility for your daily tasks. As with anything new, before you jump into a strength training regime, consult your doctor for the best plan for where you are and get ready to get stronger =)

What’s your favorite strength training activity ?

Advertisements

Published by

Sassyfitnesschick

8 years ago I began what I now refer to as my "journey into lifestyle fitness". After a yearly check in with my Dr he said I looked "really good on paper, but I might consider losing a few pounds" I wasn't offended... I knew I needed to but it seemed like to much work at the time. In that year we had adopted 2 girls out of foster care, plus caring for my 3 sons & husband sort of left me on the back burner taking care of "me". I told him I "used to" walk & he encouraged me to at least get back to that. I left his office that day, started, & never quit. As time moved on my walks increased in length & speed. I started mingling some jogging into it...then after more time some short sprints. One day I realized I was doing more running than anything else. I learned to run longer and farther. I constantly challenged myself to do more. I realized I had turned into a runner & was loving it. I have since run 6 half marathons, 2 full marathons, and my first 50K scheduled for March 1,2015. Not bad for a girl who just started off walking not quite 2 miles! My body was now beginning to show the results of my work as weight & inches dropped off. I began to add in boxing & weights on days I wasn't running. Over time as the fat left, my new muscles were waiting underneath =) Obviously, I also made some food changes. Nothing drastic..just started eating less and trying to eat better.. I hated diets and how they made me feel....deprived & left out of all the fun...so adjusting & eating less of what I liked and moving more.. I found myself getting in decent physical shape. It began my thinking of lifestyle and not "dieting". As I got stronger,healthier & more fit it was an easier process to "let go" of some of the foods I had enjoyed. I had more energy, strength and confidence in what I could do. It was empowering. It made me realize that I probably wasn't the only one who wanted to lose weight, be healthy & strong but not always be on some sort of "diet". Maybe my journey & what I had learned & been doing might possibly help others to success in their lives... I consider myself to be rather normal and ordinary ( meaning I haven't always been into fitness and healthy eating) it has been a steady, daily, learned process with good days and bad days and my hope is that you too, will see the greatness in you, and that you have the ability and power to change and do anything you put your mind to. If you want change, you can make it happen. It's just one day at a time, making smart moves and better choices, and before you know it, things are happening. Get started on your journey, really, what do you have to lose ? And yet, so much to gain =)

8 thoughts on “That Aging Thing”

  1. Roger that! I play by my own rules as well so welcome to the club. I love to power walk and I get in my Pilates as often as I can. On my to do list this year is to learn pole and belly dancing….Absolutely agree with you on the proper nutrition. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After making the decision to get healthy I dropped 73 pounds and I’m now playing ice hockey at the age of 58. In fact, on my birthday I recorded a goal (the game winner), and assist and was named Star of the Game. The average age on my team is early 30’s.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL, it’s the only sport! I’ve been a fan of the St. Louis Blues for 45 years (longer than most of my teammates have been alive), played some organized roller hockey about 12 years ago, but never any organized ice hockey. I’m loving it! I get to feel 20 for two hours and then 80 for two days, but it’s a blast.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s