Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Muscle and Ageing: Retire Strong

As you grow up and become an adult one of the things people talk a lot about is retirement, IRAs and 401k's, social security and things of that nature.  Money.  There is a commercial out there called "what's your number."  The meaning is if you have this number, you can retire comfortably.

My question is this, "How much muscle have you put away?"  You start to produce less growth hormone as you age.  Given.  After the age of 50 you start to lose muscle mass if you don't work at it.  Muscle mass is your insurance as you age.  Chance are if you've accumulated enough, your risk of osteoporosis is nill.  Muscle mass improves your chances that if you fall, nothing will break.  Chances are better that you won't fall.   If you've done the work to get the muscles, chances are you've maintained that strength.  

Your immunity will be stronger.  Your insulin sensitivity will be better.  Muscle mass calls for extra blood vessels.  Extra blood vessels means more circulation, more oxygen, less hypertension. Better body temperature regulation.  The list could go on.

There have been countless studies done showing that strength training in an elderly population is invaluable.  But I'm saying is don't stop if you train now.  Build up your muscular retirement plan.  If you train senior citizens I hope you have read this amazing study.  I've blogged on it before, but here is an article discussing it.  SENIOR CITIZENS.  

They were able to change genetic expression.  Mitochondrial dysfunction, thought to cause muscle loss, was reversed and brought back to normal baselines.  This was through 6 months of 2x a week lifting.  

This should be everywhere!  Lift, get strong, gain muscle.  But unlike money retirement, it's never to late to start.  So tell Grandma and Grandpa to pick up some iron.  If you already picked it up, don't put it down.  

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