Live long with the power of iron.
Respect your elders. Throughout childhood most of us have heard this term in some form or another. And although we did respect grandma and grandpa we think it’s safe to say none us wanted to look like them. If your grandpa was Jack Lalanne then I’ll give you that one. Fortunately – for the rest of us – we don’t have to. According to modern day science you can have the wisdom that comes with age and still keep the body of Conan The Barbarian. How? With some good ole’ fashion perspiration and inspiration my friend. Besides, I’m sure we would’ve respected grandpa even more if could dead 400 lbs…just sayin’.
According to one of the largest studies done on human gene expression, aging profoundly affects skeletal muscle, including loss of muscle mass and strength and increasing the levels of fat and connective tissue. This condition is known as age-related sarcopenia. However, sarcopenia can be combated with physical exercise as it is shown to counteract the effects of aging on certain genes.
“Strikingly, we find that genes that are associated with both aging and physical capacity are largely counteracting. The presented data thereby support efforts to maintain high physical fitness in an aging population to counteract negative effects on mitochondrial function.”
Even more interesting is that the body does not have an age-limit on improvement by exercise. Exercise, particularly weight lifting, have shown health improvements from people 80-90 years old. And the only reason that we can’t say even older is that is the oldest sample tested. It’s postulated that at any age exercise can have benefits when applied properly. So now that you know exercise can keep your engine burning for a long time what are the best ones to do? We’ve got a couple of suggestions.
The Sled Pull
Although recent to the fitness world in America the sled pull has been performed for decades by our Scandinavian logger friends. That’s right, the sled Pull was originally a log pull, and they didn’t tweet about it either. The sled pull is awesome because it’s a functional movement exercises which means it’s easily applicable to everyday life. Not only will it keep you out of the wheelchair but out of the physical therapist office as well. It’s lack of eccentric loading means it causes minimal wear on your body, greatly reducing the chance of injury or soreness. “I’m falling and I can’t get up”, not for you.
We know this is an obvious one but who doesn’t like hearing they’re right anyway? Simply put this is one of the best bone density, muscle building exercises out there. Why spend your golden years drinking lemonade on a porch when you can spend it hanging off the side of a cliff? This full body weight bearing exercise will help stave of things like osteoporosis and leave the doctor’s office as empty as high noon in a western.
Whether you run a marathon, play racquetball, or swim, it really doesn’t matter. Just keep your cardio rate up for an extended period of time. The shortness of breath commonly associated with a set of stairs and old age can become a thing of the past. Pick a fun cardio workout that you enjoy doing and try to do it atleast twice a week. Better yet join a rec team and play with others! Having fun in social settings have been repeatedly proven to keep you happier and healthier in the long run.
We know you were looking forward to riding one of those stair mobile thingys pedaled on daytime t.v., but “I’m falling and I can’t get up” is no longer part of your vocabulary. Get up, get out, and train!