Is it true that if you don’t use it, you lose it? Yes…yes, it is. According to some studies, the number one predictor of lifespan is grip strength. What this means is if you don’t use your body, you “lose” your body. If your grip strength weakens, it’s a good sign that your overall strength and health have weakened as well. Usually this happens when we stop moving or doing things. If you want to keep your body parts high functioning, you have to use them! If you don’t, they will deteriorate. People want to just chalk shit up and blame it on “getting old” instead of what it really is. In reality, they’re moving less and less. But, of course this won’t be you. You are an enlightened one and won’t let aging stereotypes hold you back. You will be Strong as you age because you understand the Power of Strength.
We want to build a solid foundation of strength, continue to build on it, and maintain it as we get older. Becoming older and aging are things we can’t avoid. How gracefully we age is up to you. You do not have to become weak or out of shape just because you are older. If you believe you deteriorate as you age, what do you think will happen to you?
Opting to get up, get out, and build strength/move your body regularly can help insure you are strong, have lean mass, low body fat, and look badass as you age. Guess what? There are 7 days in a week. Our bodies should at least MOVE 7 days a week. Many of us spend time trashing our bodies but not enough time making our bodies feel good. Many options exist to get out and move and become stronger. I’ll provide some options for you here. So choose one or choose two. Shit, you can choose them all! For fsake… Just. Do. Something. And do it often.
#1 Strength training, to me, is the number one option to help insure you are anything but the status quo. If you do not want to live up to the normal stereotypes that go along with aging and wellness then strength training is for you. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you can start at any age and be better off than if you were to do nothing. Want to enjoy life well-past your “prime”? Then strength train. Specifically, train by doing full body sessions where you are hitting your legs, core, arms, everything all in one session. Forcing your body to work as a unit is a great way to ensure your body continues to work as a unit when you get older. Want your hips to keep snappin? Make sure to include deadlifts. Want your grip to be as strong as vice grips? Include deadlifts. Want a back free of pain? Include deadlifts. Want glutes any hand would love to slap? Include deadlifts. Get it? Yeah, so strength train and make sure it includes deadlifts.
#2 Cardio. This one most people think I am probably allergic to. It may seem as if I skip cardio, but that’s just not true. I just get it through a process that also builds muscle strength as well as cardiovascular strength. Kettlebell swings, baby! Kettlebell swings are the only “cardio” anyone needs. However, I don't want to force you to kettlebell swing*. Maybe you are allergic to kettlebells or don’t have access to any. In that case, any kind of cardio will do. Anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour on days you aren’t strength training is sufficient. Some activities include biking, jogging, running, walking (FAST not any moseying around shit act like you have some place to be), swimming, or any other active sport that I neglected to mention.
#3 Good ol’ outdoors. Get out there and take in some nature. Isn’t it neat? Us city slickers actually get outside quite frequently because we walk out of necessity and convenience, but, we could still do better with soaking up some good ol’ outdoors. I am from Connecticut, so this may sound biased, but us New Yorkers should try to make it out there more often and soak up some of that fresh nature. Y’all in Connecticut and elsewhere can definitely make it outside to the woods or parks or beaches more often as well. It does some good for the mind and body. Go on a hike, climb some stuff, feel the sand through your toes. This can be amazing for your mental health, which is a part of your body that usually gets no love. Treat your mind right.
#4 Dancing. Dancing is so much fun, even if a lot of us suck at it. It’s supposed to be a physical expression of yadda-yadda-yadda. Bottom line is it’s fun and it's a way to move your body. If none of the other options interest you, then dancing most certainly will. Learning how to dance is a great way to train the mind and the body at the same-damn time. It helps build coordination, which can help ensure that your balance stays on par as you get older.
We live in a time where many of us have desk jobs. This means that most of us sit for 6-10 hours per day at work. Usually we go home and sit for a few more hours in front of the TV. I understand, binge watching Netflix while indulging in a glass of wine or a joint is a way to unwind at the end of the day. Look, I am not here to judge. All I am saying is if you don’t want to end up feeling “old” sooner-than-later, start moving more in your everyday life.
*Find a Strongfirst instructor and learn how to swing