Have you heard the term sarcopenia? This is muscle loss. It begins in earnest at age 30. At 30! More importantly it kicks into high gear at 60! If you are 60+ and not doing weekly strength training, you are,without a doubt, experiencing age-related sarcopenia — severe muscle loss. You will haves soft tissue atrophy, disuse osteoporosis, possibly beginning stages of type 2 diabetes, and the beginning of memory loss, if you are not regularly involved with proper strength training and quality nutrition. Proper strength training and quality nutrition. This is not just because of your age. Let me repeat, it is not because of your age! Maybe one more time… SARCOPENIA IS NOT BECAUSE OF YOUR AGE!
It is about your habits. Your lack of strength training and your less than adequate nutrition. Not one or the other, both are needed. Let us be clear, it is you who decides to continue with the habits you have had for the last few decades. You can change, or not. Your doctor, spouse, personal trainer, etc cannot make you change your habits. It is not in there control. “If it is to be it is up to me” rings true in this instance.
It is so much easier to put our health in the hands of our doctor. “Doc, give me a pill and fix this disease, this pain!” Give me a new treatment, repair my knee, give me a new hip. Cure my cancer. Fix my heart. Repair my lungs” The list goes on and for many this approach is all the options they think they have available. This is simply abdicating responsibility for your own health.
Too little or too much exercise or radical eating ends in poor results. It means you will age faster. What is just right when exercising with strength training or cardiovascular exercise into your daily routines? What really is good nutrition? What is a healthy attitude that brings more life to life? Think how you will feel after 60 and into your 80’s or 90’s. You can have strong muscles, bones and joints, you can have a flat belly, and little to no of chronic disease. You can develop a habit of exercise, eating and mental attitude that creates an incredible active life in our 70’s 80’s, 90’s!
Nurture Versus Nature In Our Health And Fitness
Habits are one type of epigenetic expression that determines your weight, energy, strength, endurance, abilities, even the specialties we develop. What you do with regularity influences how your genes function. Epigenetics explains how your genes express themselves. The epi part attaches to the gene and either increases gene expression or suppresses gene expression. What you eat, think, and do IS epigenetic, and this influences how we age. There are good and bad consequences from how your genes are expressed. You have habits that make your muscles grow or atrophy, habits that give you balance, endurance, healthy microbiome of the gut, type 2 diabetes, overweight and the list goes on.
Biological Aging Is Epigenetic Expression In Action
Biologic aging slows down or speeds up depending on our lifestyle and environment. Confusion lies in the differences between chronological age and biological age. Epigenetics is how our genes express themselves. The epigenic markers either increases or suppresses gene expression. What we eat, think, and do IS epigenetic, with good or bad consequences. Understanding this concept empowers us to step up and become responsible for our health and well-being. It is not just the genes we inherited, it is also how we choose to use or express our genes that is in our control. A piano has all the keys, yet it is the musician that brings meaning to those keys by the choices of keys played, rhythm etc. Our genes operate in a similar manner. The genes are what we inherited, how we use or express our genetic inheritance is up to us!
Photo: Ernestine Shepherd, 80 year old bodybuilder