So you haven’t exercised consistently in years, and each year, you have gained a pound or two. That fat gain is accompanied by a decline in fat burning hormones, foremost among them testosterone. Weight gain leads to lower testosterone; lower testosterone leads to even more weight gain - a vicious cycle.
With that weight gain comes elevated blood sugar and cholesterol levels, plus the threat of metabolic syndrome and all that the syndrome entails - type-2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and a life cut short.
You become less active. With that comes a decline in mitochondrial capacity (your cells’ capacity to produce energy). The result is even more inactivity and another vicious cycle.
Because you have not done sustained demanding work in years you become weaker. Human growth hormone - necessary for maintaining muscle and bone mass - declines quicker than age would otherwise dictate. Your muscle mass decreases, muscles become weaker, and bone density loss accelerates.
Your heart becomes weaker. Strong muscles push the cardiovascular system and are necessary to condition the heart. Maintaining strong muscles results in a long list cardiovascular benefits.
Weaker muscles make it harder to keep your balance. This leads to falling and possible serious injury.
Your respiratory system becomes weaker. Your forced expiratory volume (how much air you can forcibly exhale) goes down; pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses pose bigger threats than should be.
Cognitive decline begins. Without vigorous exercise there is less neurogenesis (the production of new brain cells), and there is a decline in brain-derived neurotrophic factor - important for the growth and survival of those brain cells.
Aches and pains prevail. Pains dictates your range of motion. That range becomes increasingly restricted. Pain causes inflammation; chronic inflammation of joints results in arthritis.
Pain, inactivity, and declining health can lead to depression. You are not powerless to change this course. There is good news:
All this can be reversed, sometimes dramatically.
Unfit subjects’ relative improvement from exercise will be far greater than fit subjects’ improvement.
It takes as little as 30 minutes of exercise a week to see that improvement.
While that is not the prevailing wisdom regarding the frequency of exercise, the proof is in the results. We have clients who have experienced these benefits:
Start now. If you don’t have the time for exercise now you will have to make time for sickness and injury later on. At our Austin Strength Training facility we can guide you through a workout suitable for your age and condition. Each week you will lift a little more, lift a little longer, and take a little less time between exercises. Over time these small steps add up. You will reverse the path you are on, and best of all, as your fitness improves you will be more inclined to be active, further enhancing your health and quality of life.
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