January 15, 2019
In this newsletter . . .
Is your fitness
My son gave me the new book Can’t Hurt Me, by David Goggins. And what a story it is. Goggins, cruelly mistreated as a child, an early failure in school, and a young adult whose future is headed nowhere, manages to turn his life around to become a super-achiever.
In summary, he looks his weaknesses and shortcomings straight in the eye, never making excuses, blaming others, or taking the easy path. Instead he challenges himself directly, physically and mentally. One of many confrontations he puts himself through is becoming a Navy SEAL. But it doesn’t end there. He continues to push himself, endlessly.
As seniors, we may not be up for challenging the Badwater 135, as Goggins did (a footrace beginning in Death Valley, the hottest place on earth, and ending 135 miles later on the flank of Mt. Whitney). But there are lessons to learn about never giving up, whether in study, at work or in
Thoughts . . .
Doing nothing now to build and maintain strength and fitness invites the consequences of frailty and decrepitude and—most important—loss of independence in later life. —anonymous
To sell us goods and services, advertising copywriters must understand the concerns of a graying population. They know, for example, two things seasoned citizens worry about are: 1) Will I have enough money for a comfortable retirement? And 2) will I stay healthy enough to enjoy it?
Regarding the first concern (money), I’m not by any stretch a personal finance expert. I don’t sell insurance, stocks, bonds or mutual funds. I'm just a fitness advocate. But I have seen what happens to people who disregard financial planning for their retirement years. So I do have a few personal thoughts about money matters, for the curious who care to look.
To the main
topic of senior fitness . . .
Sarcopenia is that strange looking Greek word meaning “poverty of flesh.” It is what we see in the elderly who are bent over and tottering from a combination of osteoporosis and the wasting away of muscle tissue (sarcopenia). It won't happen to me, we think to ourselves, when we’re young. Like the Travis Tritt song, ”I’m ten feet tall and bulletproof.”
Yet aging starts earlier than we think.
Inactive men and women over age 30 slowly lose muscle tissue every year. At about age 50 the loss starts happening faster. After age 65, it accelerates even more. Visit a nursing home and witness its ultimate toll. Loss of muscle mass is often an underlying reason many end up there, and remain dependent on others.
We are going to age, all of us. We are going to get old. Yet with regular activity — particularly resistance exercise — we can apply the
brakes. To a large extent, we can keep sarcopenia at bay. With proper nutrition and resistance training, we have a good chance of retaining a decent degree of strength and fitness right up to the end of life.
On the other hand, poor eating habits and a do nothing physical lifestyle will greatly accelerate our decline. It’s a great life. Make a great choice. Start by getting a barbell, dumbbells, a kettlebell, or resistance bands or join a gym. Get good instruction. Give sarcopenia a good, swift kick. It’s one of the best gifts you can ever give to yourself and your
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