First, the bad news. If you’re sedentary and over 50, you’re already losing it.
But wait—it gets worse. If you remain couch-bound for another 20-odd years, you’ll lose about 70% of the muscle in your arms and legs. That means a lot more than getting table-slammed in an arm-wrestling match with your five-year-old grandkid.
Maintaining healthy muscles is the key to a healthy, active life. From golfing and biking to hauling in the groceries, everything you like and need to do depends on strong muscles. And here’s a little food for thought. Lack of leg strength is the number-one reason most folks end up in a nursing home. That’s a fact. Plus, a host of illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease and other maladies are caused or exacerbated by long-term atrophy. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Lack of leg strength is the number-one reason most folks end up in a nursing home. That’s a fact.
At Welcyon, we’ve developed three ways to keep people healthy, fit and active from their 50s right through their 90s. If you follow the program, you’ll feel great, look better, and enjoy years of energetic, independent living. On average, our members double their strength in a year. And many of them have been able to stop or reverse the course of chronic illnesses.
As the old saying goes—the more you do, the more you can do. Walk through the park, dig into yard work, skip the elevator and take the stairs. Bike, run, find a hiking trail and let your boots hit the dirt. In short, keep your body in motion! Physical activity releases amazing substances called growth factors—hormones that stimulate muscle growth. Just by getting active, you begin ending years of muscular decline.
Of course, recreational aerobics will only take you so far. To achieve lasting, life-changing results, you have to add strength training to your routine. Don’t worry, I’m not talking about curling iron beside some beefy guy named Gunther in a dank sweat lodge.
On average, most members who work out two or three times a week double their strength in a year.
Welcyon has a proven strategy for slowing, stopping, and even reversing muscle loss. And because it’s designed for those of us who aren’t really gym goers (and still suffer high-school flashbacks from Mr. DeJiro’s 5th period “murder-ball” tournaments), the workouts are fully coached and supported. Plus, the club’s high-tech equipment tracks your progress. Your fitness coach can print graphs that vividly illustrate your muscle growth. On average, most members who work out two or three times a week double their strength in a year.
But the best measure of your progress will be the way you feel. Welcyon members routinely report increased energy and endurance for a host of activities, from housework to hiking, and gardening to golfing. Even better, a lot of us are able to reduce or eliminate meds for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and a host of other maladies. The key, of course, is sticking with it. Unused muscles wither, and that’s doubly true as we age. So, the best way to maintain muscle is to make strength training a regular part of your life.
When your muscles work hard, they build quite an appetite. Research shows that you need enough protein in your daily diet to grow and maintain those hungry tissues. This is especially true as we get older. People over 50 should eat 1 to 1.5 grams of protein (and 1 gram of carbohydrate) for every 5 pounds of ideal bodyweight. So, if your ideal body weight is 130 pounds, that’s 26 to 39 grams of protein a day. Tracking the grams isn’t rocket science. Most food labels provide all the information you need.
For best results, consume additional protein right before your strength workout or within 30 minutes of finishing. Protein drinks are an easy way to quickly get nutrients right after a workout.
If you take care of your muscles, they will most assuredly take care of you. By making a few simple, gradual changes in your routine, you can harvest years of good health and energy for living. The choice is yours. Your future begins today. Get moving and stay strong!
An expert in athletic training, and physical and occupational therapy, Mark Richards is the mastermind behind Welcyon’s strength-building program. He developed the protocols that help members double their strength within a year. He also trains our coaching staff and provides ongoing guidance for developing new classes and activities.
Have a question about fitness ? If your question is selected, he will answer it in an upcoming blog. Remember, you should always consult your personal trainer, fitness coach or physician regarding specific issues, symptoms or conditions.