Strength Training Helps Combat Lifestyle Diseases
Heart disease and cancer are the primary cause of death in older people. These diseases along with others such as diabetes, degenerative diseases and joint problems are sometimes called "lifestyle diseases".
The signs of aging, declining energy, gray hair, wrinkles and poor eyesight are changes that come on gradually but noticeably. The most profound change however creeps up on most of us in stealth like fashion totally unnoticed. It is the slow, progressive and unrelenting loss of muscle tissue, called sarcopenia (which means vanishing flesh).
From at around age 30 this loss of muscle tissue amounts to 300-500 grams per year accelerating as one gets older. Although sarcopenia is not an actual disease, it sets the stage and is the backdrop against which most other diseases are played out. The loss of muscular strength is associated with a downward spiral of declining health and physical function.
Sarcopenia is both a fundamental cause and a contributor to disability and disease progression. The severity of this loss of muscle tissue is determined by how we take care of ourselves in the years and decades before we get old.
Inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle is more of a sinister enemy that we realize. Many people just sit around, endless hours of watching TV, work at jobs that require them to spend long hours sitting at a desk so they engage in virtually no physical movement at all on a daily basis. As a result, chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other life threatening diseases are being diagnosed - all related to lack of regular physical activity and premature death.
The human body was designed to be used and vigorous activity is critical for its health. In fact, the more you do the stronger and healthier your body gets. Activity gets everything moving, the blood, the oxygen, the nutrients delivered to the cells which need them to carry on the process of life. Movement is the root of health and without enough of it we head towards ill health and disease.
The risk of contracting these diseases can be lowered with changes in lifestyle, changes in diet and activity levels as we get older to help escape the spiral of inactivity. A proper exercise program that includes strength training exercise can prevent and even reverse muscle tissue loss throughout ones life. By subjecting our muscles and bones to adequate loads they will keep their strength and help protect us from killer "lifestyle diseases".
Strength training is the fastest way to improve muscle strength and endurance which allows a person to perform everyday tasks with less effort. Simply forcing the muscles to work on a regular basis significantly improves their capacity to work as well as someone 20 years younger and will bring life back into your body and keep it there.
Physical activity keeps us vibrant, youthful and alive and ensures we are strong enough to live our lives to the fullest. Everyone needs to make adjustments throughout their lives to ensure they give priority to an exercise program as a protective measure to lower risk of disease. An added bonus is many other benefits including greatly improved functional capacity, a more independent lifestyle and a higher quality of life.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Do you want to discover the secret to rejuvenating your body and regaining lost vitality and improving the quality of your life? Download my free ebook "I've Found the Fountain of Youth- Let Me Show You Too!" here: reverse aging Carolyn Hansen is a certified fitness expert and fitness center owner who coaches clients to look and feel younger.