aging

Yes Virginia, there is good news in your declining health

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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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To Age with Grace

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As we age we become weaker, slower, less agile, less physically attractive…  While some accept this fate with poise and a positive outlook, for others, it is a difficult transition.

In the business of personal training I occasionally run across young people consumed with their bodies and how well they perform. In the “poker game of life”, they are holding aces. How they manage their hand when the cards they are holding are no longer aces depends on their outlook. They cannot stop the dissipation of the body over time, but there is a bright side.

When comparing younger and older exercisers, those who are older can produce far greater improvements in strength, increases in energy, bone density, and the abatement of pain.  After all, a 20 year old is not going to increase her bone density a standard deviation or increase mitochondrial capacity by 49% but a 60 year old can.  This does not require hours in the gym each week. 

With proper exercise you can significantly increase your health span, the length of time that you are healthy—not just alive.  At Austin Personal Trainers and New Orleans Fitness Training locations our trainers can help you increase your health span and age with grace.

Far and away the most important thing you can do to slow the aging process

“He’s just old”… that is what Jack told me after helping a classmate out of a car on to a walker. How old? They were both 75, but one stayed strong while the other became weak. In years to come that scenario will play out in our lives in a one form or another. At some point your role could switch from the one doing the helping to the one being helped. It is better to have a say in the matter rather than have the infirmities of aging prematurely dictate your role.

Generally we are not put in senior care facilities for being out of breath. It is when we are too weak to carry out daily activities on our own. Weakness leads to decreased energy and balance. This leads to an increased probability of a fall with serious injury. At that point somebody will have to help you out of the car.

Make changes now. Don’t wait until you are ready for a walker. Choose the one exercise that will far and away have the biggest impact on your quality of life and so many measures of good health - increase your energy, increase your bone density, forestall cognitive decline, become stronger, avoid aches and pains, lower your blood pressure, and lower your risk of injury and sickness.  A properly designed high intensity interval strength training program will do all that and much more.

Don’t know where to start?  At Austin Fitness Trainers and New Orleans Fitness Trainers we will be with you every step of the way.  We work with people of all ages. We use MedX equipment; with its special medical rehab features, we can safely accommodate those with limiting conditions that other facilities are not equipped to handle.

How to reverse age-related energy decline

Mitochondria, found in most cells, is where respiration and energy production takes place. As we age mitochondria become impaired and energy production declines. A study sought to determine if high-intensity interval training HIIT) could reverse that trend.

Two groups did HIIT workouts for 12 weeks - men and women ages 18 to 30 and men and women ages 65 to 80. From this article about the study,High-Intensity Interval Training Helps Slow Down the Aging Process the results:

“Participants in the younger group saw a 49% increase to their mitochondrial capacity, which is what helps your body’s cells create energy. The older participants saw a 69% increase.”

HIIT workouts don’t take long, and they are effective in addressing a wide range of health issues. At New Orleans Fitness Training and Austin Fitness Training we specialize in HIIT for strength - one integrated workout combining strength training and interval training.   We also have clients do interval training on stationary bikes. Past blog posts on mitochondria and a post on bike interval training.

The best exercise for aging muscles

As we age muscles weaken, cell damage accumulates, and mitochondria, which produce energy, decline in number and energy output. A study sought to determine what type of exercise might best repair that mitochondria damage. The study was composed of two groups, men and women under thirty and men and women over 64. Subjects were further divided into four sub-groups. Each group did one of the following exercise regimens for 12 weeks:

  • Vigorous weight lifting

  • Moderate bike riding plus light weight lifting

  • Interval training on a bike

  • Those who did nothing

As would be expected weight lifters experienced gains in muscle and strength, and the bike interval trainers increased endurance. Unexpectedly were the changes measured in the cells. From the NYT article reporting on the study, The Best Exercise for Aging Muscles - NYTimes.com, this quote:

“Among the younger subjects who went through interval training, the activity levels had changed in 274 genes, compared with 170 genes for those who exercised more moderately and 74 for the weight lifters. Among the older cohort, almost 400 genes were working differently now, compared with 33 for the weight lifters and only 19 for the moderate exercisers.”

Another quote:

“It seems as if the decline in the cellular health of muscles associated with aging was 'corrected' with exercise, especially if it was intense.”

At our Austin Personal Trainers facility we specialize in high intensity interval training (HIIT) for strength - one integrated workout combining strength training and interval training. The workout increases strength and endurance, and reverses mitochondria impairments to a level consistent with a younger stage in life. It is like having a fountain of youth. People of any age can benefit from this workout. We also have clients do interval training on stationary bikes. Past blog posts on mitochondria and a post on bike interval training.

For women to decrease mortality risk: lift weights like your life depends on it

A study followed 750 women aged 50-94 years for a decade.  Researchers wanted to see the effect of changes in bone mineral density (BMD) and appendicular lean mass (ALM) on mortality. The study found that deaths increased as BMD and ALM diminished irrespective of age.

A quote from the study, Musculoskeletal decline and mortality: prospective data from the Geelong Osteoporosis Study:

“Poor musculoskeletal health increased the risk for mortality independent of age. This appears to be driven mainly by a decline in bone mass. Low lean mass independently exacerbated mortality risk, and this appeared to operate through poor health exposures.”

Another study had a similar result. The takeaway: Lift weights like your life depends on it. At Austin Personal Training and New Orleans Fitness Trainers we have had success with clients who have increased their bone density and lean muscle mass.

There is a catch: how to stress the musculoskelatal system sufficiently to stimulate improvements in muscle mass and bone density, and at the same time, avoid injuries.  We use MedX equipment. The equipment has special medical-rehab features that make exercise easier on the joints. It allows us the work the body sufficiently to stimulate improvments while sparing the joints.

Those with poor musculoskeletal health die sooner

From this study, Musculoskeletal decline and mortality: prospective data from the Geelong Osteoporosis Study, the conclusion:

“Poor musculoskeletal health increased the risk for mortality independent of age. This appears to be driven mainly by a decline in bone mass. Low lean mass independently exacerbated mortality risk, and this appeared to operate through poor health exposures.” The takeaway: Stay as strong as you can as long as you can.

Proper strength training will add to your lean muscle mass, even those who are considerably older, and it can forestall the progression of osteopenia. While strength training is not a cure for decreasing bone density, it is an effective treatment. A treatment can slow, reverse, or stop the progression of a condition. 

A 60 year old client of ours increased her bone density one standard deviation over the course of two years – one 30 minute workout a week and no meds. Significant results do not require hours in the gym. Those who are older required more recovery, and for most, strength training one time a week is optimal.

At Austin Personal Trainers and New Orleans Personal Trainers we work with people of all ages. We use MedX equipment; with its special medical rehab features, we can accommodate those with limiting conditions.

Do not go gentle into that good night...

...Old age should burn and rave at close of day. 

The gentle way is not so gentle:

Gentle inactivity leads to > weakness leads to > slower gait speed > decreased balance > decreased energy levels > decreased resistance to injury and illness > increased probability of a fall and serious injury with a grave outcome as a result - a life cut short with a greatly diminished quality of life.

To burn and rave at the close of day:

Increasing strength leads to > increased gait speed > increased balance > stronger muscles and bones > increased endurance and energy levels > increased resistance to illness and injury > decreased likelihood of falling and a greater probability of surviving a fall unscathed - a significantly higher quality of life for far longer in later years.

Generally people are not placed in senior care for being out of breath; it is usually because they are too weak to carry out daily activities safely.

One strength training session a week has been shown to be optimal for strength gains for seniors. With proper strength training you will:

Add all these improvements up; it is like having a fountain of youth. At our Austin Senior Fitness facility we work with people of all ages. We use MedX equipment; with its special medical rehab features, we can accommodate those with limiting conditions.

One of our trainers has four clients in their 80s. One of our senior clients went from playing nine of holes of golf every two days to 36 holes of golf over two days. It is never too late to start a strength training program.

Increasing Capillarization and Reversing the Aging Process

As we age there is a decrease in capillarization and an increase in anabolic resistance.

If you increase the amount of capillaries of muscles (capillarization) you’ll more quickly get more blood flows, oxygen, and nutrients to those muscles. You’ll be able to engage in physical activities longer.

As we age our body down-grades its ability to synthesize protein (anabolic resistance). This protein is necessary to maintain muscle.

How can you reverse anabolic resistance and increase capillarization?

From this study, Resistance Training Increases Skeletal Muscle Capillarization in Healthy Older Men:

“Resistance-type exercise training can effectively augment skeletal muscle fiber capillarization in older men. The greater capillary supply may be an important prerequisite to reverse anabolic resistance and support muscle hypertrophy during lifestyle interventions aiming to support healthy aging.

If your goal is stronger muscles with improved skeletal muscle fiber capillarization, at Austin senior personal training and at New Orleans senior personal training we can help you get there.

Got Sarcopenia? If you are over forty you have it

The term sarcopenia has not been in common usage for very long (see graph), but the condition has been around forever.  Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle tissue that occurs as a natural part of the aging process. According to this article, Why You're Aging Ungracefully, there are two things we can do to help maintain our muscle as we age - lift weights and eat high-quality protein.

A quote from the article:

Sarcopenia begins naturally in the 4th and 5th decades of life, making your 40s and 50s an ideal time to increase dietary protein and weight training, but even those in their 60s and beyond can benefit."

Another quote: "The stronger you are, the more muscle you have, the less likely you are to become sick or die."  

It is a pretty simple equation: the more muscle you have the less likely you are to die. That is because muscle positively affects so many of the bio-markers of aging. There are bio-markers we cannot influence by exercise such as hearing loss or graying hair, but there is a long list of bio-markers we can change most effectively by strength training. People are not generally placed in nursing homes because they are out of breath; it is because they are too weak to carry out daily activities on their own.

At our Austin Fitness Training facility we use MedX equipment with its special medical rehab features. We can accommodate those with limiting conditions and can work with people of any age. One of our trainers has four clients in their 80s, and our oldest client was 95. Strength training can add years of vitality to your life. It is never too late to start.

More articles on aging here.

Strength training study shows seniors improving far more than younger set

Two groups of men and women strength trained for six months. One group was older and the other younger. At the start of the study the older group was 59% weaker than the younger group. After six months the older adults were only 38% weaker than younger adults. Both groups improved, but the older group improved much more. 

From this study Resistance Exercise Reverses Aging in Human Skeletal Muscle

“We conclude that healthy older adults show evidence of mitochondrial impairment and muscle weakness, but that this can be partially reversed at the phenotypic level, and substantially reversed at the transcriptome level, following six months of resistance exercise training”.

Mitochondria, found in most cells, is where respiration and energy production takes place. Six months of strength training partially reversed mitochondria impairments to a level consistent with a younger stage in life. It is like having a fountain of youth.

At Austin Personal Trainers and New Orleans Personal Trainers we use MedX equipment with its special medical rehab features.  We can accommodate those with limiting conditions and can work with people of any age.  Our oldest client was 95; one of our trainers has four clients in their 80s. It is never too late to start a strength training program. It can add years of vitality to your life.  

Pictured is Stella in a field of icy grass.  She was a fixture at the New Orlean Kelly Personal Training facility and now visits the Austin Kelly Personal Training facility. She is 12 and still fetches enthusiastically.

Bogus BMI Numbers

Take two numbers, height and weight, and come up with another number, Body Mass Index (BMI), and as an indicator of good health you have next to nothing.  The BMI fails to take into account physical features - as an example those with broad shoulders will have a higher BMI compared to those with narrow shoulders. There is no differentiation between fat, muscle, and bone, and it does not account for gender.

The BMI often changes as we age. For some it is lower, but that does not necessarily mean better health. Thirty years ago I was in peak physical condition and had more muscle mass than I do today; I regularly played rugby, two 40 minutes halves of pretty much non-stop strenuous exertion with no substitutions.  According to this BMI chart I would have been bordering on obesity and classified as unhealthy.

Today I have a lower BMI number, but I also have less muscle than I did 30 years ago. Losing muscle is part of the aging process; it happens to all of us.  I suppose I could sit back in comfort and point to my lower BMI number as an indicator of good health.

The BMI statistic is negatively biased against those who have more muscle, and the BMI statistic does not capture the positive health factor of strength. It is absolutely essential for good health to remain as strong as possible we age. Fortunately with a proper personal training program like the one we offer at Austin Personal Trainers and New Orleans Fitness Training those who are younger will increase strength and muscle mass, and those who are older can remain strong, slow down age-related muscle loss, and even reverse it.  When you add muscle your BMI number will rise, but you will be better for it.

More BMI posts here.

Caloric restriction and longevity

A New York Times article, The Calorie-Restriction Experiment, details a study where researchers attempted to find out if eating less increased longevity. 132 men and women reduced their daily calories by 25 percent for two years to see if a Spartan diet affects the aging process and its associated diseases. 

Subjects experienced “astounding drops in cardiovascular risk factors”.

BUT, another quote:

“Ninety-nine percent can’t do it,” John Holloszy, a medical doctor who is the lead investigator at Washington University, told me. “The people in the study are not going to stick with it” after they leave.

Damn.  Two years to figure that out?

The study was about factors effecting longevity, but what I found interesting was that subjects lost about 15 % of their body weight and reached a plateau at a “weight stability” level. It is important to note that subjects were of normal weight to slightly-overweight to start. They did not have much to lose. I am guessing that weight loss was not all fat tissue. If you attempt to lose weight by calorie restriction your body will catabolize lean body mass to lower the body’s metabolism to compensate for the decreased caloric intake. Who wants a "weight stablity" level where you have to go through life under-muscled and hungry?

A more reasonable approach might be to cut back eating just a bit and exercise a bit more. A different study found that more muscle was positively associated with longevity. If you add proper strength training to the mix your body will make a positive adaption to withstand the stresses placed on it by the strength training. The body does so by maintaining or even adding muscle mass and thereby increasing metabolism.

At Austin Personal Training and New Orleans Fitness Training we offer high intensity training (HIT) that has been show effective for weight loss. All you have to do is stick with it and make modest changes in eating habits.  You will lose fat and more likely keep it off.

Muscle mass a better predictor of longevity

From this Scientific American article, Muscle Mass Beats BMI as Longevity Predictor:

“Researchers analyzed BMI and muscle mass data from more than 3,600 seniors in a long-term study. And they tracked which seniors had died, a decade later. Turns out BMI wasn't much good at predicting chance of death. 

But muscle mass was: more muscle meant better odds of survival.” 

BMI is a dubious measurement to begin with.  Pictured is Mike Tyson. According to BMI charts he would be classified as clinically obese. He is not fat and has substantial muscle mass.

More muscle mass leads to a host of positive benefits: more strength, increased gait speed, enhanced flexibility, increased bone density, lower likelihood of falling, increased likelihood of surviving a fall without injury, higher metabolism, lower blood sugar, less chance of developing metabolic syndrome, and better able to positively stress the cardiovascular system just to name a few benefits.

People are usually not put in nursing homes because they're out of breath; it's usually because they lack the strength to carry out daily activities on their own.  With proper strength training you can increase your muscle mass – even seniors, and you’ll feel better.  At New Orleans Fitness Trainers and Austin Fitness trainers our strength training program is designed to be efficient and effective in getting those benefits listed above and live longer with a higher quality of life

Adding muscle and losing fat at age 65

Kathy is 65 years old and five feet tall. She does her strength training at our gym once a week and attends a weight loss clinic somewhere else. At the weight loss clinic they have a machine that measures body composition. Kathy said it even measures body composition in different parts of the body. 

As a result of their weight loss program people generally lose weight - some of it is fat, and some of it is muscle. Kathy did lose fat, and contrary to normal expectations, they were surprised to find that she actually gained muscle.

If you attempt to lose weight by calorie restriction your body will catabolize lean body mass to lower the body’s metabolism to compensate for the decreased caloric intake. If you add proper strength training to the mix your body will make a positive adaption to withstand the stresses placed on it by strength training. The body does so by maintaining or even adding muscle mass and thereby increasing metabolism.

At Austin Personal Trainers and New Orleans Fitness Training we offer high intensity training (HIT) that has been show effective for weight loss. All you have to do is stick with it and make modest changes in eating habits.  You will lose fat and more likely keep it off.

The effect of six seconds of exercise on the elderly

I once asked a 65-year-old friend of mine when was the last time he had gone all out. He replied, “John it's been decades”.
Our bodies respond to the stresses placed on them by making a positive adaptation to handle that stress. Our skin becomes tan, our hands become calloused, our muscles become stronger, and our body increases its capacity to burn sugar longer.
If we do not place demands on our body our body downgrades its ability to handle demanding work. Muscle is metabolically expensive to maintain. If we do not need it we lose it, and our bodies become weaker. As a consequence we burn fewer calories, we lose flexibility, our cardiovascular system becomes compromised, we are more prone to injury, our immune system becomes weaker, and our bones decalcify.

How much demanding work is enough to cause a positive change?  That depends on how far out of shape you are. From this article, Six seconds 'can transform health', comes this quote:

"A group of pensioners came into the lab twice a week for six weeks and went hell for leather on an exercise bike for six seconds.

They would allow their heart rate to recover and then go for it again, eventually building up to one minute of exercise by the end of the trial.

'They were not exceptionally fast, but for someone of that age they were,' researcher Dr John Babraj said.

The results, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, showed participants had reduced their blood pressure by 9%, increased their ability to get oxygen to their muscles and found day-to-day activities like getting out of a chair or walking the dog easier."

Is Hell for leather for 6 seconds enough?  I suppose it is if you have not done anything for decades.  The variables of intensity, duration, and frequency of demanding exercise required to produce a positive change will vary among individuals, but it is important to note that the right amount of proper exercise that will produce positive changes will not require long hours in the gym.  Our fitness trainers at Austin TX Personal Training and at New Orleans Personal Trainers can guide you through an effective high intensity strength training program that will take less than an hour a week, and it will transform your life.

Strength Training To Prevent Falls

When my father was getting up in age he had a couple of nasty falls, once breaking a rib and once banging his head pretty badly.  My father became forgetful.  An MRI revealed that there was damage to his brain.  The doctors speculated that it was most likely a result of a fall.

As people age they lose strength and with that gait speed and that results in a loss of balance.  With the loss of strength they lose the ability to recover from a stumble.  Falls inevitably occur, and those that do fall who are frail are more likely to suffer injuries as result of that fall.

Falling is the 14th leading cause of death among the elderly.

Each year, more than one-third of Americans over 65 sustain falls, total cost of fall injuries for people 65 and older was $20.2 billion in 1994, and that is expected to reach $32.4 billion by 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As people age they lose as much as half of their fast-twitch muscle fibers. These fibers control quick movements and responsible for most of our strength.  That decline can be reversed with high intensity weight training.

There is plenty of documentation out there making the case for strength training for the elderly.  One study conducted with 90 year olds,  High-intensity strength training in nonagenarians. Effects on skeletal muscleproduced the following result:

Strength gains averaged 174% +/- 31% (mean +/- SEM)… Mean tandem gait speed improved 48% after training. We conclude that high-resistance weight training leads to significant gains in muscle strength, size, and functional mobility among frail residents of nursing homes up to 96 years of age

Of all the people who stand to gain by strength training the elderly stand to benefit most.  It is important not only for the increased quality of life strength can bring but to avoid the consequences of weakness – falls, injuries, sickness, and death. These strength increases don’t require hours in the gym; do just enough to cause a change, then come back and do it again in a week. 

Is it worth your time and effort to avoid the infirmities of age? The personal trainers at Austin Fitness Training and New Orleans Fitness Training are convinced it is. 

Strength training seniors live longer and better lives

Our clients at  Austin Personal Trainers and New Orleans Personal Trainers cover a wide spectrum of ages not least of which are those who are older.  Our oldest client was 95, and one of our trainers has four clients over eighty.  People in this cohort of the population have the most to gain in quality and length of life.

Increased strength will result in increased gait speed, and that will result in better balance. Strength training will result in stronger muscles yes, but bones become stronger as well.  Elderly that are stronger are less likely to fall, and if they do they are more likely to walk away unscathed.

People are not usually placed in nursing homes because they are out of breath; it is usually because they are too weak to carry out daily activities on their own. Strength is key not cardiovascular ability.  The muscles push the heart, not the other way around. If your muscles are so weak that you cannot stress the cardiovascular system the cardiovascular downgrades its ability to handle cardiovascular stress. When a body is able to perform work of a demanding nature (strength training) the cardiovascular system is positively stressed and upgrades its ability to do demanding work.  Win, Win, Win - stronger muscles, bones and heart.

For years the conventional wisdom stressed aerobic activity at the expense of anaerobic activities (strength training), but that has shifted in recent years.  This Forbes article gives further incite: Why Strength Training May Help You Live Longer. A whole slew of blog entries dealing with aging can be found here.

Reversing the Biomarkers of Aging

Wearing glasses, hearing aids and dying one’s hair are effective methods of reversing the effects of aging, but the most effective thing we can do to reverse the aging process is to do regular strength training exercise. It is the most effective exercise in addressing the biomarkers that effect not only how young we look, but more importantly, how we young we feel. Our bodies undergo many changes that can be reversed by proper strength training:

  1. Muscle mass decreases. As adults we lose about five pounds of lean muscle each decade. Stronger muscles are more toned, and this requires more calories. Stronger toned muscles present a younger look.
  2. Metabolism decreases. More muscle requires more calories. Those who are stronger can have the metabolism they had when they were twenty years younger.
  3. Fat increases as a percentage of body weight. By increasing muscle mass, fat as a percentage is automatically less, and this extra muscle requires more fat burning calories. A stronger leaner person will be more active and the increased activity will further enhance one’s health and burn additional calories.
  4. Loss of strength, energy, and speed. Proper exercise will make you stronger, and day to day activities will be less strenuous and be less taxing energy-wise.
  5. Loss of aerobic capacity. Choose a strength training program that involves circuit training to get the aerobic benefits. Non-stop circuit training method has a very significant cardiovascular effect and increases both aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
  6. Body cells become resistant to insulin. Added muscles will lower your blood sugar level and lessen the need for insulin.
  7. Bone mineral density decreases. Increase the demands on the muscular-skeletal system, and as self-protection, the body responds by maintaining stronger muscles and bones.
  8. Loss of flexibility. More muscle contributes to flexibility. Muscles have the plasticity that tendons and ligaments do not.
  9. Increased susceptibility to sickness and injury. A stronger body is less like to get injured and will have a stronger immune system. This might be the most important benefit. People wait until injuries occur and then exercise becomes problematic. To help avoid surgery the best thing you can do for your joints is to make the muscles supporting those joints stronger. Take the steps now to avoid herniated discs and hip and knee replacements.
  10. Unsatisfactory cholesterol/HDL Ratio. Circuit strength training will improve your HDL or High Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol.
  11. Blood Pressure increases. Elevated blood pressure or hypertension is known as "the silent killer" can be alleviated by strength training.

While other forms of exercise might improve a certain biomarker more effectively - running to improve aerobic capacity or yoga to improve flexibility - none address so many as effectively circuit weight training. You need not spend hours in the gym to make a profound difference. The body changes as a form of self-protection in response to increased demands of the body. Instead of trying to find out how much exercise you can handle but find out how little exercise is actually needed to produce a change.

Studies have shown that significant strength increases result from strength training as little as once a week. Not exercising can lead to injuries which will result in more inactivity. You have to do something. Do just enough to cause a change then come back and do it again in a week. As you become stronger you will find you are willing to engage in more activities and this will further enhance your health. It all starts with strength. Just improve a little each week and over time your life will be transformed. At Austin Personal Trainers and New Orleans Fitness Training we have the program to make that transformation.

 

More articles on ageing here

The benefit of exercise that cannot be measured

When we are younger we exercise to look better and perhaps to perform better at a sport or activity, and of course, to be healthy. When we are older we still want to perform well and look good, but there's other benefits that move to the forefront. At we get older our old injuries begin to haunt us. As we get older we are not as resiliant, and we need an added measure of protection against injuries. At my age I just want to feel good and not get hurt or sick. I am at a point that I have to exercise to avoid the pains that old injuries bring.

You can't measure the decreased likelihood of injury that strength affords. You can't measure the decreased likelihood of sickness, or conditions such as diabetes that exercise allows. You can't measure the diminishment of pain around compromise joints. You can't measure the ability to put in a strenuous day and the next day not be crippled with pain. You can't measure the ability to do things at your age that other people would not even attempt to do. We have an 88 year old client who was still lifting 50 blocks while working in his garden. We have a 67 year old woman who can lift her ailing 60 pound dog into a car without her back be in spasms the next day or the next week or month.

It's great to look good or run fast, but it's some point it is just wonderful not to live in pain. You can't measure improvement in quaility of life, but it is a profoundly real for those who experience it.

A little strength training, an active lifestyle, and better eating choices can have profound effects on one's fitness and health. These changes do not require endless hours in the weight room. Our fitness trainers at New Orleans Personal Trainers and at Austin TX Personal Training can guide you through an effective strength training program that will achieve life-changing results.