healthy aging

Healthy aging isn’t as hard as it seems!

Do you ever see videos online of people their 70s and beyond shooting hoops, bicycling, or killing it on the dance floor and think, “I want to be that person when I grow up”?

I know I do. I just turned 50 and I’m realizing how much younger 70 seems than it did when I was 25!

I still want to be able to hike, jog, lift, box and just generally move well when I’m in my 80s like my parents (lifelong fitness practitioners) can.

Two of the best things you can do to help make that happen are to:

  1. Start doing those things NOW (if you aren’t already) and
  2. Take care of your muscles by keeping them strong and flexible.

Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s easier to clean a clean house?” 

It seems like a no-brainer, but the same philosophy works with your fitness and health.

It’s so much easier to KEEP your fitness level (and your muscle) than it is to rebuild it. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: It’s never too late to get into shape and gain muscle … you can absolutely do it. It doesn’t matter what your age is. It just takes time, consistency and a little patience.

Anyway … here’s why it’s so important!

When you hit the age of 30, you start losing 3% to 5% of your muscle mass each year. 

Studies even show that over your lifetime you can lose up to 30% of your muscle!

Less muscle = less strength = less balance = more risk of falls and fracture. Not good!

Plus, not only does keeping your muscles healthy improve your strength and quality of life, but it also is an important part of maintaining a healthy metabolism as you age.

This is why strength training is so important as you get older! It can help your body retain your muscle, and maybe even reverse frailty.

Here are two to-dos to put on your weekly self-care list to get a jump start on keeping that precious muscle … and helping it stay strong and flexible. 

These things will pay off not only now, but decades into the future.

→ Get at least TWO total body strength-training workouts in each week. 

These workouts should include all your major muscle groups, including your “big” muscles – legs, back, and chest.

BONUS: Resistance training also helps keep your bones strong. 

 Make time for mobility and stretching. This gets even more important as you get older. Not only does it help cut back on aches and pains, but it helps your muscles move through a wide range of motion. 

Maintaining mobility and flexibility is a surprising factor when it comes to balance. When your range of motion becomes limited, it can affect your walking gait as well as your posture. Both of those have a big effect on your balance!

Try to set aside 5-10 minutes several days a week to work on your flexibility. 

Even if those “older” years seem far away, it’s definitely worth a little thought now. 

Your future you will be super grateful to present-day you, I promise! 🙂 

Make it an active day!

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Jonathan Aluzas is co-owner of Arena Fitness, a fitness center that offers group training in Encino as well as personal training in Northridge.