Staying Fit as You Age and Other Mid-Week Links for 09-01-2010

Hi guys, I have come across some great reading material this week -

On the celebrity workout front Josh Hillis has a post up on Anna Paquin’s Naked With Vampires Diet and Workout, here is the write up I did on Anna Paquin’s True Blood Workout from a couple weeks ago (if you missed it – its currently my top post.) I always enjoy Josh’s posts, especially the celebrity workouts. I only wish he posted more often…

Kelly Osbourne is also looking great and maintaining her weight loss from Dancing With the Stars. You may have to really struggle and work hard to take off the bulk of your weight, but once you reach your goals sensible eating and workout should keep you where you want to be.

Very interesting article on how the army is revising physical training to deal with increasingly unfit recruits.

Rusty at Fitness Blackbook has a new post up on how to stay fit as you get older and lessons he has learn since training in the 1980′s. I think there is some good info in here for everyone. A good discussion of time spent in the gym vs intensity of your workout combined with “we aren’t all 20 anymore…”

The New York Times has an excellent write up on treating age related muscle loss. I believe strength training programs for seniors are going to become increasingly popular in the next five years as people begin to understand that age related muscle-loss (sarcopenia) is preventable.

“An 80-year-old might have 30 percent less muscle mass than a 20-year-old. And strength declines even more than mass. Weight-lifting records for 60-year-old men are 30 percent lower than for 30-year-olds; for women the drop-off is 50 percent.”

“…Researchers involved in the effort say doctors and patients need to be more aware that muscle deterioration is a major reason the elderly lose mobility and cannot live independently.”

“Experts say the best approach to restoring or maintaining muscle mass and strength is exercise, particularly resistance training.”

This should be a big wake up call for everyone who is going to the gym and spending 100% of their time doing machine-based cardio assuming this is all they need to do to maintain their health. You MUST lift weights in order to maintain muscle mass and prevent the loss of bone mass. Aim to get to the gym three times per week and spend 20 minutes lifting weights before you go back to your usual cardio routine.

The New York Times also tackles the common question of “why do I weight the same but look much fatter? According to this article, fat takes up four times the amount of space as muscle. Simply using your weight to height ratio (or BMI) to calculate if you are at a healthy weight may not be accurate as this does not take into account what percentage of your weight is fat and what is muscle or other lean tissue. So why is this news? Because having excess body fat has been shown to increase risk factors for certain health problems and disease. Having a healthy BMI can prevent an overfat patient from receiving necessary treatment. So don’t let maintaining your weight lull you into a false sense of security that you do not need to eat a healthy diet or become more active.

Still stretching before your workouts? Then you are not training like an athlete. New research is continually showing the benefits of dynamic warm ups over traditional stretching.

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