Getting OLD is NOT for Weaklings

As I approach 40 and see my dad approach 70, I get thinking about this more and more.

My mind is still in my twenties and my body is in its thirties.

I know I can do what I did in my twenties, but I just need to be a little smarter about things.

It is great to run into people like Ron.

Ron is an unassuming guy.  You would not think much of him if you saw him, but when you hear what he does, it is very cool.

Today, I am handing things over to Ron Kraeyewski, enjoy!

Oh ya, this is Ron in Thailand training at a Thailand Kickboxing gym while most people his age are on the beach.  Very cool!

As we get older, our bodies show unmistakable signs of aging. Our skin becomes saggy and wrinkled. Some or all hair loss is normal, along with trembling extremities, loss of co-ordination and the stooped posture so typical of an older individual.

As early as in our thirties, we begin to lose muscle mass, strength, and function.

Lean skeletal muscle mass may be lost at a rate of up to 5% per year, particularly the muscle cells responsible for strength and power.

Our immune systems become weaker, and our metabolisms slow down while our longevity increases.

The speed at which we age is directly proportionate to our the amount of activity in our lifestyle, frailty, and eventual disability, as well as our physical and dietary decisions we make each day.

This aging process is known as sarcopenia or “poverty of flesh”, where our muscles atrophy (shrink) and our limbs look hollow with excessive hanging skin and overall weakness.

Dysfunction is a sign of the times as our society engages less in physical activity, eat more processed and sugar-laced foods, and lead a sedentary life with time-saving devices.

The good news is that none of the signs of aging are inevitable, with the exception of hair loss.

The cure is simple but difficult. High-intensity exercise, combined with resistance training, and more specifically “strength training”, is clearly the preference over low-intensity exercises like walking.

Cardiovascular training does not qualify here, and indeed, studies have shown that it can actually release free-radicals into our bodies and cause premature aging symptoms.

Strength training has been shown to be safe for older adults and will maintain lean muscle mass, and increase bone density. Workouts should first focus on a complete range-of-motion around joints, body-weight movements, then onto strength training.

Age-related diseases like diabetes and dementia can be curtailed with strength training. Hormone production, such as testosterone and estrogen, will increase  as well as Human Growth Hormone and protein synthesis, which is a process in which cells build or manufacture proteins. By following the correct protocol, muscles will hypertrophy (enlarge) to fill out your once-flaccid skin, and become much stronger.

Before embarking on a serious strength training program, address existing problems, such as shoulder, hip and low back injuries, and determine and correct muscle imbalances.

An educated, experienced health professional should be able to ascertain and correct those problems, and instruct safe free-weight training techniques.

Free-weight training, which includes barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells, is preferable to machine training.

Unilateral exercises (training each arm and leg individually)are better for strengthening non-dominate muscle groups and creating a uniform balance.

Low weight and high repetitions are the place to start, but once neural pathways have been established (no more quivering in the muscles), the resistance must increase, and the repetitions lowered in order to manufacture true strength.

Performing 6-12 repetitions with a weight that you can effectively handle will bring about serious strength gains.

The aging process can be slowed down and even reversed. The old expression “use it or lose it” still holds true, and applies even more so as we age.

Ron Krayewski has been training clients since 1969.

He has been certified by the NSCA as a “strength & conditioning specialist” since 1995.

Having reached the prime age of 65, he is considered to be the go-to trainer for seniors.

Ron Krayewski currently lives and trains at Lake Chapala, Mexico.

His website is www.senioronlinefitness.com .

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Thanks so much, Ron.

Great information and very motivating.

Rick Kaselj, MS

If you liked the above, you might want to check out the Importance of Balance Training interview that I did with Dr. Dan Ritchie.

The article, The Mature Market, may be of interest you as well.

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