A 42 year old can have a FitnessAge of 64 or 24, depending on how well they have looked after themselves. For example, if this 42 year old had neglected their health and fitness and their FitnessAge is 64, this means they are performing at the same level as the average 64 year old. On the flip side, look at fitness legend Jack LaLanne. The original workout king is 86, but his daily workouts help him maintain the physical condition of an average 29 year old.
We all want to look younger than our years as witnessed by the phenomenal increase in cosmetic surgery for both sexes and fads such as collagen and Botox. But there is a new way of staying young and it has nothing to do with painful injections and surgery. It is using the very powerful tool of strength and fitness to look and feel much younger than your actual age.
Gone are the days when only models, athletes and Hollywood stars worry about their looks and aging. There is now a trend that focus’s on your “fitness” age and not just the number of candles on your birthday cake. Fitness age can be determined and measured by a number of factors: muscle strength, body composition (muscle to fat ratio) aerobic capacity, endurance, flexibility and balance.
Many leading fitness experts believe that 70 percent of your fitness age is within your control. Your genes and your medical history predetermine the other 30 percent. For the people that want to look and feel decades younger you could view age 60 as the new age 40. There are some great role models that demonstrate this such as Goldie Hawn and Harrison Ford.
There is so little natural activity in our modern lifestyles both at work and in our leisure time, most people do little else but sit all day. Unless you replace that with proper exercise the body is deteriorating so much faster that no amount of cosmetic or surgical procedures could keep up with it.
External fix up jobs may hide what is happening on the outside of the body for a little while but big time deterioration is still happening on the inside if a proper exercise program is not being performed. Without vigorous movement there is no way for the stimulation of the “youth” hormones that are the body’s way of staying strong and healthy.
Three conditions, muscle tissue loss, bone loss and increased body fat levels that happen with a no exercise lifestyle all go together hand in hand to propel you speedily down the down a path of accelerated aging. The metabolism slows (the rate your body burns fuel) energy levels plummet and the body starts to hurt from the lack of muscle supporting and protecting joints and bones.
When muscles shrink through not enough strength building and maintaining activity the bones they are attached to become weak and shrink as well. Posture droops into an aged looking rounded stance as there are no longer strong muscles to hold the body in its proper position. Body movement becomes stiff, slower and “old”.
You can surely see how hard it would be to keep looking youthful on the outside with all this happening on the inside. If you wish to keep your youthfulness you are going to have to keep your muscles strong and toned as there is no other way to achieve a firm, lean, shapely body. And there is only one true way to keep muscles and bones strong and that is with strength training exercise.
If you are over 35 and this is new to you it is important that you seek the help of a fitness professional to help you set up your program and teach you correct exercise technique. The program must be intense enough (degree of difficulty) for it to work properly. Don’t be mislead into thinking that going for a walk is going to have anti-aging effects as it won’t. It is simply too low of an intensity to do the job. Yes it would be great if it was that easy but walking is not a proper exercise program and never will be.
Keeping up your strength and fitness levels as you age isn’t just about maintaining your appearance. It is also about retaining your quality of life so you can stay independent and enjoy life right throughout your lifespan. The earlier we begin preparing for those years, the better we can minimize their impact on us.