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One question - how do you see yourself in your 80´s or 70´s ? - falling off a curb can happen in your 60´s , braking a hip and death within a year is surprisingly common , heart attacks can happen in your 60´s and  now people experiencing a heart attack at 40 .

There is something you can do to help prevent all of this and it is really quite simple . Make excuses now and you will regret it later on in life. Two or more strength training sessions per week , regular physical activity and eating sufficient protein.

It is surprisingly easy and yet studies suggest that over half the adults over the age of 40 are not eating enough protein . ( by the way the RDA for protein is insufficient - we now know that 1.6-2g of protein per goal kg of body weight are needed and even more if you are extremely

active )

By adding 2 sessions of resistance training per week ( or more ) to your life effectively means you can help prevent muscle loss ( which is around 8% per decade ) . This will increases your strength and muscle mass .

Exercise also increases the ability of the body to uptake protein into your muscles which is really useful because as we age our ability to convert protein into muscle is compromised. Exercise makes your muscles more sensitive to absorbing protein. Protein is best absorbed in a minimum of 3 portions spread over 4-5 hour intervals during the course of the day.

Studies of putting a leg in a cast for one week - already showed significant muscle loss, furthermore the inactive muscle was 35% less responsive to protein uptake  after only a week. When you lose  body weight you WILL lose muscle mass . which is why on a weight loss plan it is critical to do resistance training , ensuring fat loss and minimising muscle loss.

When you do not exercise your muscle loses its ability to absorb protein. In older people they maybe 20% less responsive to protein uptake but if you exercise them you increase this uptake and you increase muscle mass and strength - to the same level as a younger person .

Lack of activity might be the main determenent of anabolic resistance .

The less active you are the less protein is converted into muscle and the more muscle loss you will experience.

Since as we get older it becomes harder for us to convert protein into muscle mass it is essential we focus on optimal protein , at more regularly intervals - and combine this with resistance training.

The good news is you can gain muscle mass and strength at ANY age - even at 100 !!! In studies of  older people doing resistance training there was a normal response -in other words  there is NO difference between the response to a younger person and an older person - our muscle does not get old - nor does the response to exercise .

You do not have to start exercising at 40 to have good muscle mass at 80 - but obviously you have a much better chance at 40 of building more muscle - it is never too late to start exercising but better to start as young as you can and build up a bigger reservoir for later on in life.

You can build muscle even if your body is not producing hormones .Scientific studies have been done on men with aggressive prostate cancer who were put on androgen deprivation therapy ( basically chemically castrated ) - What happens in this case is  they lose a lot of muscle mass , they increase fat mass , they get really depressed ,lose their energy and can develop cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. However when they were put on a strength training programme 2-3 times a week-  they GAINED muscle mass- with zero testosterone.

- So  ladies this also applies to you menopause  will happen at some stage — the stimulus of resistance training WILL build muscle even in the absence of muscle building hormones.

Lifting weights can boost your testosterone by 20%. Strength training gets rid of all the negative side effects from not having a correct hormone balance . With zero risk.

Falls in older people are a growing problem with serious repercussions . They are the second leading cause of accidental death globally.

When we go into hospital not only do we eat less protein but we also do not exercise - most of the time we are lying in bed - this not only leads to muscle wasting but amplifies it.

Short periods of inactivity lead to loss of type II muscle fibres - these are the fibres that allow us to explode and get strong- if we trip - these are the muscles which save us . These are the fibres that will  disappear with age UNLESS you train them .

So you see when you fall and break your hip , then left in a bed , this inactivity combined with not eating  sufficient protein - mitigates a downward spiral- some people never recover from this and within a year can actually be dead - worryingly these falls can happen in our 60´s.

Cardiovascular activity is also important. It takes blood flow to the brain, increases grey matter in the brain , helps prevent parkinson´s , alzhimers , neural deterioration and makes your heart and body younger . It produces the feel good hormones. Which can mitigate depression and negativity.

Intense exercise can also blast away cancerous cells and exercise in general helps to keep body fat down which can help prevent cancer, metabolic disease , type II diabetes etc

Exercising our heart both with daily physical movement and increasing the upper limit of exercise

( Vo2 max ) as we age is as critical as brushing your teeth and yet 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men are still not doing sufficient exercise . Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer and now affecting people as young as 50- in fact 1 in 4 heart attack patients are younger than 40 !

As we age our hearts get thicker and less flexible if we are not exercising . Furthermore there is a correlation between your fitness level measured in Vo2 max ( how much oxygen you can utilise and convert into energy during exercise)  and how long and healthily you will live .

Some people are born with a naturally higher Vo2 max - in other words they do the same level of activity but do not need to work as hard - but the good news is  this is like muscle mass and strength - you can take it into your own hands and improve it regardless of your level .

There is chatter about the broken healthcare system , the aging population and the drain on the healthcare resources and yet the healthcare system is not helping by neglecting to practice and recommend the most potent strategies of Exercising and Nutrition.

These help to prevent people entering hospitals in the first and place and furthermore when they are in hospital not using them as strategies to get people back to health quickly . This is a  real way to practically use exercise and nutrition as effective and safe medical interventions .

In hospital within 15 hours of fasting you are already at risk of losing muscle mass , then being bedridden or sedentary not only amplifies muscle wasting but also limits the uptake of protein into the muscle  . No athlete in the world would undertake this protocol .

Studies done with amino acids ingested at night time shows the gut processes this protein and uses it in the muscle . Take people in hospital a protein rich snack in the evening ( like cheese ) which will increase protein uptake by 20% and if they are able to get up - then get them up and walking around . Lets start seeing hospitals nursing and Doctors as preventing and you can do your bit by moving and lifting weights.

Even people who have sedentary jobs but work out for 1 hour a day are still at risk of the negative health issues  discussed here . Getting up and moving around during the course of the day is a must . Sitting for extended periods of time , regardless - is killing you.

Not resistance training and not eating enough protein is like not wearing a seatbelt in a racing car - when the shit hits the fan - which it will - you are drastically reducing your chances of survival.

So then if we know we can build muscle and strength at any age , if we know that we will lose our type II muscle fibres as we age ( strength and reflex )  if we do not use them , if we know that these fibres are critical to saving a fall and that a fall could lead to to a rapid downward spiral in quality of life, maybe death  - if we know that doing nothing exacerbates our muscle fiber loss and that eating more protein and training muscles in combination increases our muscle mass and strength , that we can do this at any age and in just 2 resistance training sessions per week you elicit benefits - my questions would be  :

Why is everyone not exercising and not making eating protein a priority ?

Why when you go to the Doctors do they not ask about your nutrition and exercise protocol ?

Why are hospitals not prescribing exercise?

And why are so many people STILL ignoring the fact that the two things which can extend the quality of their life and prevent them being miserable in later years are as simple as eating more protein and using their muscles and heart.

For interval training videos , resistance training videos and advice on training please drop me a line or see my you tube channel :

katie handyside and instagram @katiehandysidetraining . I am sure you can help someone you know by sharing this article with them ?


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