When should you start thinking seriously about the physical condition in which you spend the rest of your life?

According to the slogan current in the 1960's "Today is the first day of the rest of your life", so whatever day it is, today is always the day to accept that this is an issue of immediate importance and to start doing something about it. However, you can't necessarily manage 

 

When should you start thinking seriously about the physical condition in which you spend the rest of your life?

 

According to the slogan current in the 1960's "Today is the first day of the rest of your life", so whatever day it is, today is always the day to accept that this is an issue of immediate importance and to start doing something about it. However, you can't necessarily manage to invest any one particular day with the importance and significance needed to kickstart such a major investment in your life. So, apart from the answer to our question being "every day until you do begin to do something about it", when should you start thinking that you need to do something to ensure that you stay fit and strong during the years after 50, the age after which accepted wisdom has it that you start to lose muscle mass?

 

A study carried out at the University of Ohio has found that "Baby Boomers" appear to have two ages at which questions of health come to the front of their mind. In their late forties, they generally had little interest in investing time and effort in this area of their life, and you can see why; it is an age at which one might still feel invincible, if all is going well in one's life. At this age you still have much of the vigour of youth along with some of the wisdom of experience. However, the study, conducted by emeritus associate professor of communication John Dimmock, doctoral candidate in communication Katey Price and assistant professor at Texas Tech University Melanie Sarge, found that in their early 50's - immediately after THE BIG FIVE-0! - the respondents' interest in health issues completely turned around and it was at this age that they showed the greatest interest and concern. Interest tailed off during their late fifties and early sixties before once again returning to the fore around the age of 65.

 

In a way, it's easy to understand the significance of these two ages. Fifty has always been the age at which it was said that the decline starts; it was held to be the case, for instance, that you start to lose muscle mass, and find it is impossible to increase it. We now know that the loss appears mostly to be to do with atrophy and lack of use rather than biological factors. And we also know that building muscle and increasing your strength is possible at any age. You just need to know that that is the case in order to motivate yourself to put the work in.

 

At 65, you are thinking about retirement and how you are going to spend all the time that you now have, and the idea of not being able to make use of the time due to age-related ill health is an irony. Many of the areas of health where concerns were raised can be mitigated with good lifestyle choices. Physical frailty in particular is one of the issues that you can do something about and see positive results through exercise. And beyond the usual stress on cardio fitness, more and more, health experts also encourage working with weights to maintain or increase muscle mass. Another benefit of weight training and{jcomments on} resistance training is that it helps avoid all the dangers of bones becoming brittle through loss of bone density.

 

So whether you want to be able to take part in some of the more demanding activities that we feature on our pages or want to be able to do the gardening and clear the front path of snow, if you haven't already made taking care of your physical condition one of your regular activities, start now.

 

After all, it is true what they say - today IS the first day of …..