There is NO SINGLE BETTER WAY to temper and even reverse the natural effects of aging and ensure better long-term health and longevity than strength training/building muscle. Sure, there are other preventative health measures out there. Of course no one lives a risk-free life. But nothing gives you more bang for the buck to optimize your long-term health than muscle building. It is so easy to get started and there's no downside, why wouldn't you? Stay tunes for this continuing series.
In future posts I will go point-by-point and share with you recent studies and other evidence to explain how building muscle can:
🔷 Improve mental function and reduce your risk of severe cognitive impairment including age-related cognitive impairment diseases
🔷 Increase and maintain your independence
🔷 Reduce your risk of illness and developing age-related health disorders
🔷 Reduce your injury risk
🔷 Elevate your mood
🔷 Increase your bone density/mitigate age-related bone loss
BEST OF ALL
🔷 You'll feel strong but WON'T LOOK BULKY!
Let us look at each point individually. Although it may seem all doom and gloom, there is light at the end of the tunnel, stay with me!
According the the CDC, the leading causes of Death in 65+ year old adults were:
Natural effects of aging, genes, and lifestyle each contribute to the risk of developing the above conditions or events occurring. Going back to our graphic:
As women age our natural levels of estrogen decrease. This can have a snowball effect on many areas of our health. Decreases in estrogen can lead to
A common fear among those approaching mid-life and beyond is a loss of independence. Indeed, the aging body will lose bone and muscle mass/strength (sarcopenia). This can lead to some or all of the following:
We already know estrogen decline can lead to poorer cognitive health, weakened bone, weight gain and a loss in mobility. This in turn can increase your risk for these age-related diseases:
As we've seen above, preventable falls are the 7th highest cause of death in those aged 65 and above and are the most direct result of the effects of aging on the body. If they are preventable, wouldn't you want to know how and to start ASAP?
A significant proportion of older people have a mood or anxiety disorder. These are often not reported and therefore are not treated. Even in the absence of a clinical diagnosis or obvious symptoms of a mood disorder, as we age our mood can be adversely affected. This can have further negative impact on mobility, pain and general health.
In women, bone loss starts at age 30-35 at a rate of 0.75% - 1.00% per year until menopause. From menopause until about 5 years after menopause, the rate of bone loss increases to between 2.00% and 3.00% per year. After that, the rate is approximately 1% per year. So, by the time they turn 80, women can potentially lose, upwards of 50% of their peak bone mass! Think about how this factors into injury risk and fear of falling (anxiety).
In my next series of posts, I hope you will be as amazed as I was at how more movement, exercise and PARTICULARLY strength training can stall or in some cases reverse all the above mentioned risk factors. Since they are interrelated, when you focus on one you get a domino effect sometimes across the board! I am so excited to share this evidence with you. Please reach out with any questions in the comments or subscribe via the button above.
You don't have to be an Olympic body builder or train like one to get stronger, move better, be healthier, and feel and look great.
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