Why Muscle Fitness Is Essential
Peter Attia stated in his recent book Outlive: “The strong association between cardiorespiratory fitness and longevity has long been known. It might surprise you, as it did me, to learn that muscle may be almost as powerfully correlated with living longer.”
Indeed, when we start losing muscle mass and strength (clear signs of sarcopenia) and do not do anything about it or not enough, this can lead to numerous other problems. This can give rise to frailty and issues with mobility, falls and fractures, lower activity levels, loss of independence, weak bones, and possible weight gain from not moving enough throughout the day. When it comes to our metabolism, sarcopenia can lead to a lower resting metabolic rate, which can bring about insulin resistance and hypertension, among other things.
The Importance of Strength Training Exercises
As explained in Questions and Answers: A Guide to Fitness and Wellness, between the ages of 25 and 30, muscle mass and strength begin to decline. This is mostly due to lower levels of key hormones and a tendency to lessen overall physical activity. But if we make an effort to do regular strength training exercises between the ages of 20 and 60, then the peak we usually reach around age 30 can be maintained until we reach our sixties. Otherwise, by age 40, our muscle strength is already less than what it was at age 20. After the age of 60, even though key hormones are still declining, we can continue to enjoy consistent muscle fitness if we apply ourselves to diligently do strength training exercises on a regular basis (even without prior real experience), whatever our age, even if close to 99 (consult your personal physician first, of course). Check out the Primal Blueprint Fitness Pyramid for more guidance.
On a Final Note
Being in my fifties, I am highly motivated to do what it takes to keep my muscle mass and strength for as long as possible. I actually intend to improve my current state as I never really focused on strength training exercises per se. I want to postpone sarcopenia and anything that could be related to it. Improving bone density and having better blood glucose transport are also very important to me. As we can start strength training at any age, whether with free weights, resistance bands, and/or simple bodyweight exercises, I am confident this will be a great addition to the cardio and stretches I have done for years. Muscle fitness is truly essential.
Until next time!
Attia, P. (2023). Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity. Harmony Books.
Liguori, G., & Carroll, S. (2023). Questions and Answers: A Guide to Fitness and Wellness (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.
Price, A. (2016, February 22). 10 Ways to Stave Off This Weakening Condition. Dr. Axe. https://draxe.com/health/sarcopenia/
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