The REAL Fountain of Youth…Found!

March 30, 2010

If we keep on living we will inevitably get older.  Some of the great things about living are enjoying loved ones (for example, playing with kids), experiencing neat new places / thingsiStock_000008099278XSmall, and hopefully becoming wiser.

Some of the aspects of aging that we may not care for are a few more aches here and there, seeing our kids grow up and leave home (or maybe we do enjoy that 🙂 ), and of course the seemingly inevitable fat gain and muscle loss along with accompanying losses in strength and muscular power.

Keeping these declines in physical capacity from happening is tough.  The sedentary as well as the active will experience them.  In a study of master athletes (i.e. people that were motivated to maintain a rigorous training schedule so that they could compete at the highest levels), it was shown that peak strength generally occurs between ages 20 and 40.  After middle age, strength of most muscle groups decline.

Also, after age 18, most people progressively gain body fat over most, if not all, of the remaining years of their lives.  This can occur in sedentary people, as well as some active people.  For example, endurance athletes that trained regularly from age 50 to age 70 gained roughly 3% body fat per decade.  It should be noted however, that a sedentary person will gain at least 20% more body fat over time than their endurance trained counterparts.

Now, the good news.  If you want to reverse and/or hold at bay these aspects of aging, there is a way to do it!  Would you like to look and feel healthier?  Are you interested in keeping excess fat off for as much of your life as possible and making it more difficult to gain fat?  Then look no further than a set of dumbbells (or any type of resistance training equipment, including your own body weight).  Get a hold of some weights and start pumping iron!iStock_000001344289XSmall Here’s the deal:

People that regularly train with resistance exercise often buck the trend of fat gain and muscle loss that accompanies aging.  Individuals that resistance train regularly for many years often demonstrate increased fat free mass (e.g. muscle mass) and DECREASED fat levels.  Those that begin resistance training in late adolescence seem to resist certain aspects of aging for many, many years.

And it’s never too late to start.  Older men and women that begin resistance training show similar gains in strength and muscle size on a percentage basis.iStock_000005481428XSmall Healthy 60 to 72 year old men that participated in a 12-week resistance training program showed muscle strength that increased progressively throughout the training program.  Their strength improvement of 5% per training session matched that of young adults.

Also, in another study, 70-year olds that had trained since age 50 showed muscle size and strength equivalent to a group of 28 year-old students!

So, if you’ve not already begun resistance training, there is no time better than the present to do so.  It will help preserve your body.  It will help you to more easily enjoy the pleasant things (mentioned in the first paragraph) we experience as we age.  It will help you get more living out of life.


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2 Responses to “The REAL Fountain of Youth…Found!”

  1. Hi Darryl,

    I so appreciate the positive attitude which you express at your fitness website about true fitness, health and vitality. Thank you for saying it is never too late. So long as we live and breathe!

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell
    Cyber-Dating Expert and Online Dating Coach

  2. I’m naturally thin and I’m getting up there in age…I guess I best be pumping some iron!




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