I normally don’t like linking to the Failing New York Times. They paywall too much and they're usually wrong. But here’s an article that’s actually correct-ish.
I love it when members send me links, I get to use them instead of writing a post - but get ready, Amy has a long 4-parter in the works, so you’ll get to listen to her rants.
Anyway, this article is about how you need to do real resistance training as you age to fend off sarcopenia - the fancy term for muscle loss.
We live in a world that is drastically different from the milieu in which we evolved. As you age, you become more sedentary.
I think the some of the reasons are probably cultural - you have to spend more time in school learning and then you have to spend more time sitting down at work (very few people do manual labor any more) and then you have kids and they suck all of your energy away so you just sit on the couch and watch TV in the evening. All of that inactivity means that your body has no reason to keep muscle.
Some of the reasons are also biological - as you age, your hormone profile changes so you start losing muscle that way. And since we don’t have the active lifestyle of our ancestors, the muscle melts away quickly.
Then since you’re weaker you do less, and the cycle continues
Age-related muscle loss is highly correlated with death. From simply being independent and getting around to being strong enough to have the balance to not fall down, or if you fall down to have enough muscle to buffer you so you don’t break a hip.
It’s scary to be weak.
It’s not too late to get into strength training. The best plan is to start training before the muscle loss begins (late 30’s to early 40’s) - or earlier, like Blake’s new youth program. But the second best time to start is right now. You can stall or even reverse sarcopenia by working with weights. And it doesn’t take that much just a short time a few days a week is enough.
If there’s anything that will keep you out of the medical system it’s having muscle. Do yourself a favor and keep your independence by spending a little time focusing on weight training.
We should be getting our activity by just living our life, but since our culture is based around convenience and not moving, we need to actively put some effort into training our body. The best way to do that is with kettlebells and barbells - nothing fancy or expensive needed.