1. Getting What You Want
Most of us are eager for a long life. Some of us are even desperate to regain your youth. That's why so many of us decide to get fit and join a fitness club. Great idea! But not so good if you heave weights or jog yourself all the way to the hernia or knee surgeon.
But in reality, you don't need to damage yourself to be fit. At the same time, you don't need to treat yourself with kid gloves either. What we really need at our age is a route to superb fitness without hurting ourselves ...
2. The Bad News First
Now, I hope your heart can take this because there's bad news from the start before we get to the good news.
Do you remember the saying, Life Begins At 40? It's supposed to be a cheering thought. But the harsh truth is that for many people life does begin at 40: it begins to deteriorate. Now, if you weren't so tough, this could almost put you off asking the same question about life after 50, or 60 or 70, couldn't it?
Luckily, you're tough. And you've accumulated the wisdom of a prophet too because you can see into the future. You know in your bones that inactivity will make those bones progressively weaker. And you know it's the same with your muscles if you allow it.
3. The Second Bad News
If you allow this to happen, your metabolism will also diminish. A diminished metabolism reduces the ability of the body to burn fat. Reduced fat burning leads to fat storage. Storing fat leads to greater weight. Greater weight leads to greater inactivity, and ... well, you get the picture.
But because it's you, you're not going to allow this to happen. Instead, you're thinking about going jogging or joining a gym or perhaps taking part in fitness classes. If so, that's great. Well, maybe it's great.
4. The First Great News
It's great because the really good news is that inactivity, muscle loss, decreased metabolism, poor eating and the accumulation of fat are not inevitable bi-products of aging at all. To a large extent, they are due to individual decisions. To put it another way,
· it's not your metabolism that slows you down
· it's you that slows down your metabolism.
Everyone's muscular-skeletal system is constantly regenerating and a muscle is a muscle no matter how old it is. Therefore, it responds to exercise at any age. The point is that loss of muscle and muscle fitness along with increases in weight are not essentially connected to age at all. What they are connected to is a type of lifestyle. But in this everyone has a choice.
Naturally, due allowance should be made for previous inactivity and current health before embarking on an exercise program. In fact, it would be sensible to seek medical advice before beginning any new physical activity, preferably from a medical practitioner familiar both with you and fitness.
5. More Great News
But, in essence, this means that workouts for older individuals need not differ markedly from those of younger people. Naturally, you need to be careful to avoid injury and probably take longer rests to recover. But in all essentials, in the words of another well-known phrase, use it or lose it.
Looking on the bright side, making the choice to keep active is easier than ever because there are probably greater opportunities and facilities available than for previous generations. Golf and tennis are still enormously popular as well as swimming and dancing. Fitness clubs and associations have appeared all over the place.
6. Jogging To The Surgery
But consider this. We are not alone. Lots of deteriorating middle-aged citizen desperadoes have already decided to join a gym, try out all the fitness equipment, start heaving weights or a jogging program to preserve their youth after 25 or 30 years or more of inactivity.
Pill and potion pushers are happy with this. So are chiropractors. So are joint and hernia surgeons. Business is brisk.
That's why it's best to take it easy at first. If you've been inactive for a long period of time there's a really, really good chance that it will take more than a few workouts before you become a world champ. Bet you knew that didn't you?
So, don't be too impressed by all the gadgetry in gyms these days. Most of it you can forget. My general advice would be to opt for non-weights based fitness program of a bodyweight exercises. It's safer and gets you fitter than practically everyone thinks possible.
7. Fitness Side Effects
We do much more than we generally think when working out.
This is because it's easy to think only of the benefits to the body. For example, we improve the capacity of our heart to pump greater amounts of blood. We also expand the ability of the lungs to supply oxygen to our blood and improve the ability of our muscles to utilise oxygen supplied by the blood. The better we do this the fitter we become.
But there's more - as well as becoming physically better in the usual sense of physical fitness, exercise also improves the circulation of blood to the brain.
8. Boost Your Brain Power
This brings at least two valuable benefits. The first is that it reduces the risk of strokes. The second is that it promotes the delivery of oxygen to the brain and improves its capacity to receive it.