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Can You Maintain Muscle and Fitness as You Age? Tips for Staying Jacked and Fit Into Your Later Years

Anton Schuster Spring Lake

If you’re reading this, chances are you love a good challenge, pushing your limits, and knowing you can do things that most people can’t. But here’s the real question: Can you keep it up 20 or 30 years from now?

We all know our bodies change as we get older. You’ve probably seen older folks, maybe even some your age, lose strength and flexibility, and struggle to do the things they once loved. But here’s the thing: your body will change, but it doesn’t have to mean you’re less capable.

Because even though most people see a decline in their abilities as they age, there are simple ways to keep yourself strong and even improve as the years go by.

In this article, I’ll talk about the three main ways our bodies change as we age, and share three key strategies to help you stay strong and capable for longer than you might think possible.

But first, check out this video about a 61 yo CEO on how his training has evolved over the years.

Does this story sound familiar? If so, keep reading.

The 3 Big Challenge to staying fit as you Age

As we get older, our bodies change. But how much they change can vary a lot from person to person.

Some people think once you hit a certain age, you’re on a downward slide and there’s nothing you can do about it. Others believe aging is a choice, and any decline is because you didn’t eat right, exercise enough, or take the right supplements. But the truth is somewhere in between:

Yes, our bodies change as we age, and that can make some things harder. But there are things we can do to make those changes less drastic.

Let’s dive into the three main changes that come with age, and how exercise can help.

1. Losing Strength

When you think of older folks, you might picture them as weaker or more frail. And it’s true that strength tends to decline with age. But how fast and how much it declines depends a lot on how active you are.

A lifelong exerciser might be weaker in their 70s compared to their 30s, but still much stronger than someone who’s been sedentary their whole life.

So, while you might lose some strength as you age, regular exercise can help you keep a lot more of it than you might think.

Look at this graph on how strength training can make an impact as you age

Strength loss as you age

2. Getting Less Flexible

Flexibility is something most people struggle with at any age, but it tends to get worse after 55. You can lose 5-6 degrees of flexibility in your shoulders and 6-7 degrees in your hips every decade!

But here’s the good news: doing flexibility exercises regularly can really help you keep and even improve your range of motion, even as you get older.

Flexibility loss as you age

3. Losing Control

This is probably the scariest change that comes with aging. As we get older, we can lose coordination and balance, which can lead to falls and other problems.

But you can work on improving your coordination through specific exercises, which can help you stay steady on your feet as you get older.

So, while you might not be worried about falling now, it’s worth working on your coordination to keep yourself safe in the future.

Motor control loss as you age

Next up, let’s talk about menopause and how it can affect your fitness.

If menopause isn’t something you’re dealing with, feel free to skip ahead to the next section where I’ll share some of our favorite strategies for staying strong as you age.

🤷‍♀️ Menopause and Fitness

About half of you reading this will go through menopause at some point. So, it’s important to understand how it can affect your fitness.

During menopause, your estrogen and progesterone levels drop, which can cause all sorts of changes in your body, from your muscles to your mood. But regular exercise can help mitigate a lot of these effects.

Here’s how:

Strength training can help you keep your muscle mass and bone density, and even boost your metabolism. Stretching exercises can help reduce stiffness and aches, and keep your joints healthy. Working on your coordination can improve your balance and help prevent falls. Consistent exercise can also help you sleep better and improve your mood. So, even though your hormones might be doing crazy things, sticking to a regular exercise routine can help you feel strong and capable throughout menopause.

Getting Started

First of all, it’s never too late to start exercising. Even just 10 or 15 minutes a day can make a big difference.

And it’s never too early either. Building a strong foundation now will make it easier to stay active and healthy as you get older.

If you’re not sure where to start, try a program like Elements, which includes strength, flexibility, and coordination exercises. Just remember these three simple rules:

Be consistent – aim for at least three workouts a week. Work at your own level – don’t push yourself too hard, especially if you’re just starting out. Listen to your body – if something doesn’t feel right, take a break or modify the exercise. Following these guidelines will help you stay strong and capable for years to come.

3 (+1) Strategies for Staying Strong

Being fit and healthy isn’t about your age – it’s about how you live your life.

I once met a 90-year-old who was sharp as a tack and strong as an ox, while a 60-year-old man could barely stand up. The difference? The 90-year-old stayed active, while the 60-year-old spent his days on the couch.

So, how can you be more like the 90-year-old? Here are three strategies to help you stay strong and capable for life.

1. Keep Moving

You don’t have to stop doing the things you love just because you’re getting older. Look at all the master athletes out there – they’re proof that you can keep going no matter how old you are.

Start moving the way you want to move when you’re 70 now, and you’ll still be doing it when you’re actually 70. Find something you enjoy and stick with it – that’s the key to staying active for life.

2. Mix It Up

Instead of doing the same workouts over and over, try mixing things up. Focus on one thing for a while, then switch to something else. Not only will this keep things interesting, but it’ll also help prevent injuries and keep you progressing.

3. Work on Your Weaknesses

We all have areas where we could use a little improvement. Whether it’s strength, flexibility, or coordination, take the time to work on your weaknesses now. You’ll thank yourself later.

Bonus: Focus on Recovery

As you get older, recovery becomes even more important. Make sure you’re getting enough rest and taking care of your body between workouts. It might not be as exciting as hitting the gym, but it’s just as important.

Find Your Inspiration

If you’re feeling discouraged, look for inspiration in others. Whether it’s a master athlete or just someone you know who’s Staying Fit into their golden years, let their example motivate you to keep going.

Being “young” isn’t about your age – it’s about what you can do and how you feel. And with the right attitude and a little effort, you can stay strong and capable for life.

Boxing as you age

Playing lacrosse as you age

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