Are you feeling the affects of aging? Lack of muscle tone, stiff achy joints, low energy, bad posture, morning body aches, lack of sex drive, loss of strength, fatigue, shortness of breath, etc,.. I could go on an on but, instead I will share with you a number of solutions you can do about these. Somewhere in this list you might find multiple things going on with you and in this blog I will break down each factor and show you how to reverse the effect of each one
Whats interesting is the basic signs of aging are predictable. Which actually is good, because it gives us an opportunity to observe the patterns and develop techniques to counter them. If you remembered or noticed when you were in your teens most of us was still growing and developing muscle but, when we reached our 20's you might have noticed a changed in the appearance and firmness of your muscles. The basic rule of aging, is muscle loss starts in the early 20's and every 3 years your body will lose about a pound of muscle. About the time we reach 30 years of age there will be a 3 pound loss of muscle and then at 40 years of age there will be an acceleration in muscle loss and firmness. This continues through your 50's, 60's, 70's,,etc.. This is real time aging. There is also a hormonal effect which occurs along this same time line which affects aging, and the same solution for muscle loss will benefit the hormonal changes also. Since the body ages in a very predictable pattern we can observe the muscle loss year by year. This allows us to develop programs which slows down and completely stop muscle loss which helps maintain a youthful appearance and higher functional levels longer.
Lets first look at muscle loss. When we lose muscle we also have other side effects from the muscle loss.
1. Loss of strength - Our strength and energy is directly related to the amount of muscle we have. If we lose muscle then automatically we will lose strength and energy. In our everyday life this translates into feeling weak, fatigue, weight gain, slower metabolism, and loss of muscle tone.
2. The amount of strength you have will determine if you move easily or be challenged moving throughout your day. Example: Walking up stairs, standing up from a chair, sitting down, and standing on your feet for prolong periods of time would become more challenging and exhausting.
3. When you have low energy you move less. The less you move the less your joints moves and this leads to your muscles becoming shorter and tight. Then you start having achy, stiff joints and guess what happens next. You even want to move less, because it hurts to get up, stand, walk, and run. You just want to rest more because you are feeling tired, stiff, and old.
4. Muscles are what burn calories and losing muscle mass means you will not burn as many calories also. What comes next is weight gain which makes you more tired, reduces your energy, makes moving around harder, distorts your shape, and makes you feel bad. This is what it feels like to become older.
This is a very realistic observation of how we age and the order of how these other factors come into play. Knowing how this happens gives us a great advantage. We can use specific training programs which can slow this down for years and even completely reverse it.
Nutrition has a very powerful effect on how you age also. We like to look at the human body as a species of the planet like a plant. Everyone understands what happens to plants if they are not properly cared for. The plant is rather simple in its nutritional needs. It needs rich dirt, water, and sunlight and you'll have a healthy plant. However if you neglect one of these base nutrients you will see signs of droopy leaves, weak color, drying or dying leaves falling from the plant.
When we contrast this to a person you'll see a similar process. The human body needs specific nutrients to have optimal health. If the basic nutrients are not meet then you will be unhealthy which also affects how you age. Lets look at the very basic nutritional needs and how they effect how your body ages.
Water - Your body is 70% water. Your body functions much better if it's fully hydrated. Water plays an intregral part in every function within the body. If the water in your body is low you will show signs of dehydration which reduces the functionality of all the working processes in your body.
Every second of the day your body is reproducing new cells, metabolizing food for energy, removing waste products, growing your hair, and your nails. If you are fully hydrated your cells, skin, hair, and nails are very healthy. If we are dehydrated our bodies will not digest food properly and will also lack the ability to remove toxins from the air we breath and from food we eat. This shows up as bad breath, bad body odors, and disease. Keeping a youthful appearance requires the body to be at an optimal level of hydration.
Protein - Protein is the building blocks of muscle. Consuming an adequate amount of protein daily is vital to healthy cell development. Which could be either animal or plant based protein. The ingredients of every cell is protein. Your skin cell is made from proteins. Having healthy skin which passes the test of time requires a high quality protein in the proper amounts daily.
Carbohydrates - Carbohydrates are the fuel for your muscles and many vitamins and minerals. Eating natural whole foods instead of process carbs is mandatory for optimal youthful health. Consuming green leafy vegetables with less starch carbohydrates is an ideal combination for long term positive health.
Fats - Fats are powerful nutrients which is used for development of enzymes, and plays many roles in the body vital functions. It serves also as dampener between your skin and muscle plus the organs also. Having an optimal level of fat helps the skin maintain a youthful appearance for longer periods of time.
The major point of the nutritional tips is consuming high quality foods, with adequate amounts of water daily will give you the best advantage to feeling, and looking youthful for years longer.
Exercise has an amazing effect upon how you age. Just by doing any type of exercise you can slow down some of the physical effects of aging. This article is dedicated to the general benefits of exercise and how it can play a huge roll in feeling younger.
Weight training - The major benefit of weight training is it's ability to slow down muscle loss and improve strength. The most basic weight training program can accomplish this result. By weight training 3-4 days a week the muscle will increase in size, which translates into more strength and a firmer muscle. If you consistently increase the amount of the weights there will be an improvement in strength to the point muscle loss will completely stop. This will prevent and reverse all of the other effects of muscle loss(aging). This advice works best if you are young and looking forward to keeping your youthfulness as long as you can. If you start in your twenties you have more time and you can prevent some of the early effects of aging from occurring.
If you are 40 or above you have develop some of the side effects of muscle loss. Lack of strength, low energy, loss of muscle firmness, achy stiff joints, loss of mobility, and bad posture. You would need to correct these first which will make you feel younger. Start with correcting mobility issues first, correcting posture, rebuilding your strength in your stabilizers, and then weight training to improve overall strength.
Even though traditional weight training is very effective, functional weight training is another option available for weight training. This type of training trains you to be functional in everyday life. This functional training combined with traditional training will possibly make some of you feel 20 years younger. You will feel and move like you haven't in years.
Cardiovascular conditioning - Your ability to breath efficiently when under a physical load or mental stress is such a benefit. Training your heart and lungs will make you feel as though you discovered the fountain of youth. Focus on improving your stamina and endurance by walking, bike riding, gym cardio machines, swimming, running, hiking, a sport, or recreational activity. Find something that you enjoy. Have fun!
Mental conditioning - In order to be successful you actually have to do the steps necessary to achieve the desired goal. This starts with mental conditioning. You will have to live a lifestyle where these steps are normal and easily completed. There is a simple way to create a working system which will keep you focused for years. There are 3 steps you need to adapt daily. Number one is thinking about what you want to achieve, number two is speaking consistently with full commitment to what you want to achieve, and number 3 is have the actions of doing the steps daily.
Step 1 -I awake every morning and I think these thoughts. I want to maintain youthfulness for as many years as I can. When I'm 60 I would like to feel like I'm 40.
Step 2 - When someone says lets go out to dinner instead of working out, you say no. I would rather workout and then go to dinner. Can we go at 7:00 instead of 6:00? Please'
Step 3 - I schedule appointments with myself to go to gym to workout and lift weights 3-4 days every week. I will never miss, Everything I do is schedule around my workouts.
Repeat these 3 steps week after week and month after month and year after year and you will develop a personality rooted in reality and is deeply rewarding. It works just by doing it.
Lets start with making an appointment with ourselves at least 3 times a week. Schedule it in and make everything else evolve around it. We are important and we will be better support for our families if we take care of ourselves. We want to inspire you to live your best life. You deserve it!
AFC blog is about supporting you so you can live your best life. We strive to inspire everyone to live each day better than the last. Our blog is dedicated to teaching ideas that motivate you to live a fit life.