Edging Closer to 60 – Oh my Goodness!
I am turning 58 in a month (April 1) and I am definitely feeling the aging process at work. I have noticed my muscles are not as strong and I have a lot more parts that jiggle. ‘A’ and I joke around about my bat wings.
For those that have not experienced bat wings yet, it is the lose fleshy part under your arms that dangle.
(Getty Image, Women’s World)
From the time you are born to around the time you turn 30, your muscles grow larger and stronger. But at some point, in your 30s, you start to lose muscle mass and function. The cause is age-related sarcopenia.
From the Greek “sarco,” meaning flesh, and “penia” referring to deficiency or poverty—loss of muscle mass and strength is common among older people.
This muscle loss is one of the primary reasons for falls—the number one cause of accidental death in those 65 and older.
Researchers estimate that, generally, those between ages 60 and 70 have lost 12% of their muscle mass, with those over 80 having lost 30 percent.
As I joked about earlier, it is not just about sagging skin and flabby arms. Loss of muscle mass leads to varying degrees of inability to perform daily activities, like walking. That can begin a cascade of effects, including slower movement and loss of balance, which also restrict a person’s ability to live fully.
And guess what, focusing on your physical health also impacts your mental health.
Exercising may also reduce age-related memory loss, according to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Increasing physical activity can decrease this statistic by 25 percent, because exercise strengthens the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with learning and working memory.
If You Need a Little Motivation – What’s Your Real Age Quiz
Thomas Perls, MD, associate professor at Boston University School of Medicine and creator of the Life Expectancy Calculator, helped to create a quiz that reveals your body’s “true age”—which isn’t always the same as the number of birthdays you’ve celebrated. It’s not an exact science, but it can ID what you’re doing right and what you could improve on to slow down the aging process.
Here is the link, https://www.health.com/beauty/quiz-discover-your-real-age
I ended up only a half year younger than my chronological age. But the scoring from the questions on lifestyle, puts it in perspective how important exercise is!
Okay… What’s The Plan for March?
From my understanding of both the books and articles I read, a fitness plan that maintains strength, flexibility, and balance is vital.
I am going to try some actions based on recommendations from experts at the American Heart Association and American College of Sports Medicine.
It is recommended to do 150 minutes of cardio every week. (Getting your heart-rate up).
Since I already like to run in the neighborhood for my midday break from work, I will keep this activity. But what I think I would like to do is have some type of goal for the fall.
I used to do half-marathons (and once a marathon) in my thirties so possible I could work up to that half-marathon distance for September. I really like running, so this is something that would appeal to me.
I understand running is not for everyone so my suggestion is find something that you like and then try doing it consistently.
We have booked a trip to PEI for May and our intention is to walk around the island (700 km’s). So, it is necessary to up my steps in walking on the weekend.
For those interested in the PEI walk, here is a link, https://theislandwalk.ca/
I usually go to different neighborhoods in Calgary with a map of the book boxes and then walk to the different locations to trade books. I average about 10 kms in 2 hours.
I find it is a fun thing to do and it is a treasure hunt to find books. And the added bonus is that I am getting exercise.
For those interested in finding book boxes in the city, here is a link, https://littlefreelibrary.org/map/
I have been saying to myself for years that I need to do more strength training, but I never get around to it. I am going to try this month to add it to the schedule. It can be lifting weights, but it doesn’t have to be. I have a DVD tape that ‘A’ and I use on cold winter days that exercises core muscles. The routine is like a cross between yoga and pilates.
Plus, I do have a couple weights lying in the closet that I could use to exercise my arms. I will put both of these activities into the schedule.
Balance and Flexibility
I have horrible balance (inner ear problem) and lately if I try to do yoga with any exercise where my head is below my waist, I get dizzy!
But for balance, I could try standing on one leg as part of building this up and some type of modified yoga. I think I will leave a full yoga class for another month.
I will, however, make sure to incorporate some type of stretching into my routine.
I have put the schedule in a chart. But I must be honest upfront that I will be gone for two weeks in March to Costa Rica. I will start the plan, but I will have to modify it for the last two weeks of March and then resume in April.
I will report back in a month’s time, how it all went.
|Cardio Running||30 minutes||30 minutes||30 minutes||Longer run (60 mins)|
|2 hours||2 hours||Longer Walk|
|Strength Training||Arm Exercises||DVD Exercise Routine||Arm Exercises||DVD Exercise Routine||Arm Exercises|
|Flexibility||Add a few more stretches after running||Stretching – part of DVD||Add a few more stretches after running||Stretching – part of DVD||Add a few more stretches after running|
Thanks again for your support in my endeavors and if you have comments, please feel free to email me or comment here.