Where will you live? How will you live?
Will you be totally independent or require help to get through your day, your life?
And the bigger question: “Is there anything you can do now that will affect how you live your life in your 70’s, 80’s and beyond?”
Can an exercise program focused on muscle building over 50 years old make a difference in your life?
I believe it can but let me digress for a moment.
My mom is visiting for awhile. She is 85 and doing pretty well even though she has never done any exercising. She benefits from good genes it seems. Four of the five siblings from her family are still alive and she is the youngest.
She used to live in a retirement community here in Albuquerque but decided to leave it two years ago. She now travels between the kids’ houses and stays for a few months at a time.
Of course she visits her old friends from the home when she returns and it’s always the same.
She’ll come back and tell me everyone who died since last visit. And she talks to me like I know these people.
“Bob died a few weeks ago.” “Barbara dropped dead in her sleep. She was sick for the last two months.” And on and on.
This is obviously a negative factor when considering the “old folks home” living plan. When everyone is old, the probability of people dying is quite high.
It can’t be good but maybe it prepares you for the inevitable. I don’t know.
I think the argument for the “Retirement Home” is based on a false premise. They (the homes) are sold on you needing it rather than “do you want it?”. It’s like a foregone conclusion in the modern world that you’ll get old, decrepit and not be able to take care of yourself.
And a lot people fall into this. When you start saying “I used to do such and such…” or “I can’t do that…”, then you have already concluded you’re too old or incapable.
You expect your life and abilities to decline. You don’t question it for a second.
It’s a big mistake to conflate what is common to what is normal.
Yea it’s quite common to be overweight and unhealthy but it is far from what is normal for a human in their 50’s or 60’s.
This slow but definite decline in physical (and mental) capacity is a relatively new thing.
It didn’t exist at all 100 years ago. Yea people died younger but they didn’t have any preventive medicine and lived in much tougher conditions.
They also didn’t get:
Humans are really designed to operate at a fairly high level for most of their lives and then just fall off the edge and die. I call this the Waterfall Life.
From birth through your mid-twenties (or so) you gain optimum strength and ability.
Then you cruise along a very gradual decline like a stream meandering through a high meadow. It’s a wonderful life.
Speed, strength, mobility and other lifestyle factors slowly degrade but you continue to live a full, healthy and productive life. No one need take care of you.
And then suddenly one day you go over the falls. You’ve run out of gas.
This is how your great-grandparents and possibly grandparents lived.
Much more common today is the Alpine Slide Life. After following the same ascent from birth through your mid-twenties, you start down a long and accelerating decline.
By your mid-forties, you are well on your way to old age and it just keeps compounding from there.
You get less and less capable over the years and finally fly off the slide towards the bottom and get hurt. (If you’ve never ridden an Alpine Slide, let me just say that losing control and ending up in the rocks and thorns is not uncommon).
Now you really start to get old fast. Quality of life degrades but thanks to modern medicine you may live another 5 to 20 years or more.
Wow, it’s great to be alive??
The Waterfall Life provides nearly all of your years as productive, happy, energetic, fun-filled years. You crap out quickly at the end but you had a great life. And your kids don’t have to watch you die slowly and live in agony.
The Alpine Slide Life, while enjoying the same healthy start to life, does not give you near as many quality years. The last third of your life can be compromised, unhealthy, painful, fruitless and possibly even pitiful.
To slow ageing (and even reverse it to some degree), you have to build muscle.
You build muscle by resistance training. This isn’t rocket science.
Take action today to ensure a long, healthy life worth living.
Here’s a great muscle building over 50 workout.
And here are some great tips for gaining muscle mass after 50.
Check it out here. This is my very best training program geared specifically at building muscle in the over 50 ass kicker.
Is that you?
Do you think you can play an active role in determining what your future holds for you?
Mark aka The Old Spartan and Over-50 Fitness Savior is a 63 year old coffee guzzling father of five wandering the outdoors around Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mark helps Active Boomers get lean, healthy and strong so they can be great role models and they live rewarding lives using his signature Spartan Method system.
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