• Fit After 50: How the Champs Keep Their Gains

    A recent study concluded that, on average, people lose about 30 percent of their strength between ages 50 and 70 - and another 30 percent of what's left per decade after that. Generally, people lose about 1 percent of their lean muscle mass per year after age 40. This natural, age-related, muscle loss is called sarcopenia, or vanishing flesh. Inspiring term, isn't it? As we age:
    • Muscles don't repair as quickly due to a decrease in enzyme activity.
    • Tendons stiffens as their water content decreases.
    • Ligaments become less elastic, reducing flexibility.
    • The heart cannot pump as effectively nor as quickly, causing fatigue and slow recovery.
    Although all this sounds pretty grim, it's not a death sentence for those willing to continue to put time in at the gym. With regular cardio and resistance training, much of the effects of aging can be thwarted. Here's how the old pros stay strong. USE CORRECT FORM Correct form is more crucial now than ever. Ligaments and tendons have LOTS of wear on them. Lift incorrectly and you could be down for the count for a good while. [caption id="attachment_15085" align="aligncenter" width="330"]Jack LaLanne Jack LaLanne[/caption] WARM UP & COOL DOWN Put more time into warming up and stretching before you hit the weights. Some cardio plus some light stretching will get you ready. After each set, stretch that body part. [caption id="attachment_15087" align="aligncenter" width="217"]Bill Pearl Bill Pearl[/caption] REST I get it. It's fun to say, "I'll rest when I'm dead," but rest is huge. If you're not 49 anymore, your body isn't as resilient as it used to be. You take a lot longer to come back from an injury after 50. Since building and keeping muscle becomes harder as you grow older, you have no time to waste. [caption id="attachment_15084" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Reg Park Freddy Ortiz[/caption] TAKE CARE OF YOUR JOINTS Take Calcium and Magnesium for your joints. Stay consistent with daily vitamins and minerals. Giving your body the extra help it needs to repair can mean the difference between a satisfying trip to the gym or a painful one. [caption id="attachment_15086" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Dave Draper Dave Draper[/caption] MODERATION Lift moderate weight. By the time you're 50, you should know your body very well. It's important to listen to it... and not the ego. [caption id="attachment_15083" align="aligncenter" width="286"]Larry Scott Larry Scott[/caption]
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