Strength And Longevity Over Forty
We are born, we develop, we decline, and we die. The purpose of this essay is to prolong the “develop” and delay the “decline” by building muscle through exercise and diet, as well as by understanding how your body works. The most important aid to good health and longevity is knowledge. We need to understand how our bodies work. We inherit the genes of our parents; we learn from our parents what to eat; and we mimic their lifestyle—at least early in life. To improve, we need to learn from their mistakes and learn the new knowledge available today. Today, there is an epidemic of obesity leading to an epidemic of metabolic diseases.
YOUR BODY CHANGES WITH AGE
All of these problems can be prevented or lessened with the new knowledge published in scientific journals. Modern medicine prefers to palliate metabolic syndrome, hypertension, insulin resistant diabetes and hyperlipidemia with simple medications, yet many of these problems can be eliminated by lifestyle changes—if you are motivated and if you understand your body. An aging cell loses the ability to divide and so dies. Cells collectively make up tissues and organs. The testes, ovaries, kidneys and liver lose cell numbers relatively early in the aging body. The muscles, soft tissues and bones are among the first tissues to show measurable change. Distinct muscle changes occur in humans usually in the fourth decade.
We lose skeletal muscle mass as we age, and we become weaker. Older muscle is also less efficient at protein synthesis than is younger muscle of the same size and weight. This decrease in muscle mass and strength as we age leads to decreased activity and a more sedentary lifestyle.
These age-related changes in muscle mass and strength alone lead to a less active lifestyle and a concomitant increase in body fat.