Exercise and health in the elderly

Do we automatically have to get weak, frail, and prone to injury as we get older? Do we have to succumb to the diseases and vulnerability of old age? Is it inevitable?

That’s what conventional wisdom will have you believe. The entire system is built around this idea. It has to be, because that’s where the money is. Managing old age and degenerative diseases is a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s in their best interest to keep you dumb, weak, and sick.

It’s in your best interest to do something about it. And it’s never too late.

You are never too old to start making changes in your health. Despite how difficult it might be for you already, it’s worth the effort. Yes, even the elderly are capable of building muscle and getting stronger. I’ve taken the liberty of finding a few clinica trials for you to peruse:

Jumping combined exercise programs reduce fall risk and improve balance and life quality of elderly people who live in a long-term care facility.

Basically they had old people jump around, you know, exercise. They improved balance and quality of life. I take that to mean they got stronger and were more able to move around. No way! For realz?! Yup.

Bone Density, Structure and Strength and Their Determinants in Aging Sprint Athletes.

The study looked at the bone density of old sprinters versus that of old active people. The results of this study suggest that regular sprint training has positive effects on bone strength and structure in middle- and older-aged athletes. So it’s in your best interest to sprint every once in a while, while you still can! It makes your bones and your muscles stronger for life!

Protein Supplementation Increases Muscle Mass Gain During Prolonged Resistance-Type Exercise Training in Frail Elderly People: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.

I’m not as interested in this one for the protein supplementation, as I am about the fact that after they got old folks to exercise, they gained strength. No crap!

Just for good measure, heres a few more [1, 2, 3].

The last one, number 3, is pretty nice, cus it shows even if you’re and old person, you can exercise AND decrease cardiovascular risk factors! Now that’s always good.

Now, this stuff¬†only shows that it’s possible to get stronger and healthier if you’re already an old person. Well, if that’s true, then it’s definitely possible to MAINTAIN health and strength throughout your entire life through old age, which as I see it, is a MUCH better way to go about it.

It’s so much easier to establish and continue a healthy lifestyle when you are young, and never, EVER, stop what you are doing. I think the cost/benefit ratio weighs out here, don’t you?

And the only diet I see as being healthy and sustainable throughout your entire life is an ancestral type diet of real whole foods: animals, eggs, veggies, fruit, nuts. A nutrient dense Paleo diet that prevents over eating and promotes healthy strong bodies free of disease.

On top of that, lift heavy once in a while, and sprint too.

It’s super easy if you try, then once the habit is established, you’re good for life. Congratulations! You’ve set yourself up for a lifetime of success!

Otherwise, get ready to welcome the wheelchair, prescriptions, and diabetes. That sounds like fun…

~ Dan