No matter how old or young you may be, it’s time to get started
You may think you are too young or old to make a difference in your life’s quality. But over time, any positive tiny behavioural changes will hugely impact your health, mental health and longevity — no matter how early or later you decide to make the change. What I’m referring to here is exercise. Young children need it, and so do the elderly. Letting a number stop us from making positive changes in our lives is wrong, and all you must do is make a decision. When starting a gym membership, one of the biggest downfalls is the age at which one can start using the facilities. Why do young adults wait until age 17 to become members? Why don’t gyms have enough supervision and guidance available for both young and old so they can start building their health and decreasing their chances of developing the disease? What about the mental health benefits for both sides of the scale? A parent can’t always become the guiding force in these facilities, as many of us do not have the skills and knowledge to guide ourselves safely, let alone teenagers. But, it’s one thing that gyms and training facilities can start to enforce slowly. This is my dream anyway, but I hope it will be easier for kids and the elderly to keep fit one day. If you are currently in your 40’s, 50’s or beyond, the best time to start exercising is now. A study by researchers in the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport and Exercise Science compared muscle-building ability in two groups of older men. One group was named ‘master athletes’ who were people in their 70s and 80s, lifelong exercisers, and had a certain level of competency in their chosen sport. The second group were healthy individuals of similar age but had never participated in any exercise programs. Each person was given a drink they took during bouts of exercise, which all involved weight training on any particular machine. In addition, researchers took muscle biopsies after 48 hours and examined how muscles responded to exercise. Perhaps you and I would assume that the masters of the exercise group had a distinct advantage over the people who never exercised. That’s also what the researchers thought they’d find. But researchers uncovered another truth. Both groups had an equal capacity to build muscle in response to exercise. However, no group had a more significant advantage over the other! You may be an avid exerciser, who began weight training at 18, and in your 80’s still benefit. The same goes for someone who decided to train as an older individual to extend their quality of life and give them more mobility. The best approach is a mindset towards a longer-term commitment to exercise and good health. The current advice regarding older individuals and training is vague and open to confusion. What we need (as I mentioned above) is specific advice and perhaps some guidance. Everyone can and should either train at home, in the gym or within a group setting. The best exercise choice is one that you enjoy and want to do almost every day of your life. Please sign up via my link if you want to read more articles like this or start writing your own. I’d love to see you on the other side. Sign up here for your medium subscription. I get a portion of your monthly fee at no extra cost to you, and it will go a long way in supporting me as a writer.