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Age & the importance of fitness

Age & the importance of fitness

This is something I hear quite a bit, "I'm too old to do that", which is one of those standard excuses along with "I don't have any time to get fit", "I'm too tired to do any fitness classes", "It's alright for you you find it easy" and so on. Having been a martial arts instructor and fitness coach for more than 30 years I have heard all the same excuses time & time again.

Now being past 50 myself hearing the excuse "I'm to old" has become more poignant, as I often hear this from people 10 or 15 years younger than me. It seems like in today's society that people get into their 30s and think it's time to slow down. If you are going to do any type of fitness, you go jogging or take a yoga class, which happen to be 2 of the worst things you can do as core fitness workouts as you get older. The first one damages your joints and weakens your muscles. The second builds little to no muscle, which is very important as we age. The reasons they are so bad, especially as we age, are simple biology, after our mid 30s we start to lose muscle, about 1.5 pounds a year, plus we start gain fat easier. Which is the reason we can stay about the same weight but keep getting fatter. Also as we age we lose bone density, which is especially a problem for women. This can only be controlled with resistants training, high impact training and aided by a good diet.

Unfortunately bad information is the norm from the fitness and diet industry, poor advice will have you doing steady state cardio, eating a low fat, high carb diet. You won’t lift heavy weights, they will tell you to avoid high impact training for getting fit or losing weight. All these have been proven to be wrong over and over again, but still bad personal trainers sell this type of programme. If you go to most gyms or personal trainers I guarantee they will give you a programme based on lots of cardio & minimal heavy weight training.

So why are they still selling this type of programme to to people if it doesn't work?

Several reasons from badly informed and lazy fitness professionals to unscrupulous trainers who know that they don't work long term but are a great way to keep clients coming back. The same technique is used by diet companies, bad advice is used to keep people on the diet merry-go-round, that is why the biggest diet company is owned by the biggest food company. Diet companies, gyms & trainers use the 8 week rule, which is that everything works for 8 weeks. Whatever diet or fitness routine you do will work for 8 weeks & the fatter you are & more out of shape the better. This how you get the money back guarantee to work, the gym or trainer will choose clients that they know its going to work on short term knowing that long term all the weight will return plus a bit more. The person thinks ok I lost weight with that person or company so hands over more money, guess what for most people its less effective the second time round, so they keep trying and keep handing over more money.

You still see over 50s low impact aerobics classes advertised when what we need over 50 is to pick up some iron, we need strength we should spend time getting stronger & not shrivel and die. These type of classes neither tax your cardiovascular system or your muscles so have little to no benefit apart from lining the pocket of a lazy fitness instructors.

So what should you do? That's easy, lift heavy, walk a lot, sprint occasionally and play (find something activities you love doing).

Why should you lift heavy? The older we get the more muscle we lose so it is important to slow this down as much as possible and that can only be done by picking up heavy stuff and consuming more protein. The more muscle we have the more fat we burn, even just sitting doing nothing, plus for men lifting helps men increase their testosterone levels which decrease with age. And for women lifting heavy helps to decrease the loss of bone density which can lead to osteoporosis.

Walking is much easier on the joints than jogging and burns plenty of calories, sprinting is good for strengthening your heart and lungs as well as your legs. If you can't sprint outdoors or on a treadmill then on a bike, or even a cross trainer is fine. A 15 minute high intensity workout once every 7 to 14 days will do wonders for you.

Find an activities you enjoy doing such as swimming, climbing, canoeing or even yoga, then you forget that you're exercising and you want to do it more often.

Being stronger will help you do more things you enjoy, help you live longer and help you to be happier & more confident.

So however old you are pick up some heavy shit and start to feel stronger, happier, healthier today and never say I'm to old to do something.

To make all this easier for people I created the Warrior Elite Programme to help build not just a good fitness programme but also a diet plan that is enjoyable & more important sustainable long term.

John Nelson

Martial arts instructor

Personal Trainer

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