Many people put aside funds for retirement, but neglect to invest in their health and fitness for physical independence as they age. Ask yourself this question, how much can you enjoy in your retirement years if you have a lot of money but your physical health is lacking?
If you’re over 50, now is the time to start making serious investments in a health and fitness program that will help protect you from the mental and physical disorders associated with age. From your 40s and some in your 30s, a natural process of muscle loss called sacopenia begins to occur in your body. You can lose up to 1 to 2 pounds of muscle each year from your 40s and this process speeds up with age if it is not slowed down.
Sacopenia can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, insulin resistance, increased risk of falls, and loss of independence. These are the main things normally associated with the aging process. Not a pretty picture. However, you can start fighting sacopenia right now and in some cases reverse this process with diet and exercise.
Increasing protein intake and strength training are two of the most effective ways to combat muscle loss. While 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (0.36 grams per pound) has been the normal recommendation for daily protein intake for years. Today, many new studies show that 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (0.45 to 0.68 grams per pound) may be more beneficial for building, maintaining, and reducing muscle loss.
Strength training, also known as weight lifting, has been shown to be the best form of exercise for building muscle and strength, which helps maintain your independence as you age. The good news is, it’s never too late to start. People over the age of 90 have been shown to gain muscle and strength through a well-designed weight training program. However, the earlier you start, the better. I recommend that you do weight training 2-3 times a week from your forties.
Now that you see that investing in your health and fitness program is just as important as investing in your retirement account, where do you start? I suggest you find a nationally certified fitness professional and have them design a custom strength training program for you.