As time marches on in our lives, our natural gifts of movement have to be trained and retrained or they fade away. After so many years of being motivated mainly by how you look and the desire to lose weight, the challenge of replicating simple physical acts becomes a surprising focus.
“Why aren’t we training to be kick-ass 90-year-olds?” says Dr. Peter Attia, a guest on the Tim Ferriss Show (podcast) recently. Dr. Attia specializes in the applied science of longevity, with practices in San Diego and New York City.
His words crystalized our own thoughts and have stayed with us since. We have been doing this with UpLift members without putting a label on it. In the last 20 years of life, we slowly lose the ability to do things that were always easy, such as getting up off the floor, squatting down to pick up a child and more.
Challenging Fountain of Youth
You have to do things in order to be able to keep doing them. If there is a fountain of youth, it is resistance training—moving your muscles through a range of motion while they are being resisted. You lose muscle as you age, but resistance training keeps more of it on your bones. And speaking of bones, resistance also significantly improves bone density to reduce the chances of a break from a routine fall.
Stretching, doing yoga and other fitness classes, and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to whatever level you can handle are other great forms of movement that put you on the path to kicking butt into your 90s.
Stay up on Checkups
You always hear the obligatory warning that you should see your doctor before starting exercise. We don’t think of it this way. Instead, we hope you will always move your body whether you call it exercise or not, and that you will see your doctors for regular preventive tests to help detect problems early.
Then, as long as you are cleared for exercise, think about what you want for yourself as you age. It’s a powerful and reassuring feeling when you fall down and just get back up, dust yourself off and keep going through your day.
Next month: essential movements that will preserve the connection between your mind and muscles and let you live strong as you age.
Jill Strand and Chris Radke are owners and certified trainers at UpLift Guided Fitness in Woodbury.