If you are about to skip this column thinking it doesn’t apply to you, keep reading. This information is just as important for you ... maybe even more so.
But first, let me tell you a quick story.
Ten years ago, I began training a group of women who were all closing in on the half-century mark. As a 23-year-old, I totally underestimated what these women were about to accomplish. They dropped body fat and inches, developed beautiful, strong, feminine muscle, all while having fun. But the fun for them wasn’t in the work, it was in the results.
Now, 10 years later, these same ladies are nearing 60 and screaming a new motto: “60 is the new 40.” Actually, I have heard this several times recently from both men and women, all of whom have been caring for themselves. What is this trend and why is it happening? Is there a legitimate reason or are they delusional folks fighting a predetermined battle?
Bottom line: People who exercise can expect more from their bodies later in life. In fact, from a functional standpoint, this group hasn’t felt as though they have aged.
If you look at just a few ways exercise improves your body, you might get a clearer picture why they feel this way.
Resistance Training improves:
• The density of bones by causing them to absorb more calcium, counter-acting and staving off osteoporosis.
• The strength of connective tissue (ligaments and tendons) around joints, allowing for more integrity.
• The amount of skeletal muscle on your body for increased overall strength, a higher metabolism, and a lower risk of injury.
Aerobic Exercise improves:
• Your heart’s ability to pump blood to itself and the rest of the body.
• The strength and condition of the major arteries and vessels that deliver life-sustaining resources to the cells of your body.
• The overall quality of your blood, allowing you to do work while decreasing your risk factors for many diseases.
In addition to these physical benefits, I often witness a change in attitude as people improve their bodies. Some call it perspective, some call it swagger. Either way, it’s a change in confidence that only comes from one thing: knowledge. These folks know what their bodies are capable of because they ask it to perform regularly, and don’t walk around timid or in fear of the next injury or disease. Instead of surrendering to the aging process, they embrace it, work with it, and defy it ... at least from a functional standpoint.
With this in mind, I ask all of you to broaden your vision and look down the road. Like the principle of compound interest, the earlier you start, the greater your return over time. Exercise is an investment that will deliver immediate benefits, but it’s the long term pay-off that is huge. So, whether you are 20, 40, 60, or 80, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s too early to start — or too late either.
I’m looking forward to hearing how these ladies feel ten years from now. Will 70 be the new 50?
Mark Moreland is the owner of Body Outfitters Personal Training Studio in Zionsville and has 13 years of experience as a personal trainer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.