Many people put aside the necessary funds for retirement but they neglect to invest in their health, and fitness for physical independence as they get older. Ask yourself this question, how much can you enjoy your retirement years if you have plenty of money, but your physical health is lacking?
If you are over 50 years of age it’s time to start seriously investing in a health and fitness plan that will help protect you from the mental and physical ailments associated with age. Beginning in your 40s and as early as your 30s for some, a naturally occurring process of losing muscle called sacopenia starts to take place in your body. You can lose as much as 1 to 2 lbs of muscle each year beginning in your 40s and this process accelerates with age if left unabated.
Sacopenia can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, insulin resistance, increased risk of falls, and loss independence. These are the major things normally associated with the aging process. Not a pretty picture. However, you can begin now to combat sacopenia, and in some cases reverse this process through diet and exercise.
Increased protein consumption, 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. Now 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 in building, maintaining, and reducing muscle loss.
Strength training also know as weight lifting has been shown to be the best form of exercise to build muscle and strength which helps maintain your independence as you age. Good news is, it’s never to late to start. People well into their 90s have been shown to gain muscle, and strength on a properly designed weight lifting program. However, the earlier you start the better. I recommend that you strength train 2 to 3 times each week beginning in your forties.
Now that you see it’s just as important to invest in your health and fitness program as it is to invest in your retirement account, where do you begin? I suggest you find a nationally certified fitness professional and have them custom design a strength training program for you.