Lack of Use or Overuse Gives Symptoms of Aging


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I am proof that muscle loss is inevitable past 40.

I am proof that muscle loss is not inevitable past 40.

Regular exercise and sensible eating are crucial at any age. However, while for some it might be relatively easy to maintain a well-toned body when in your 20s; passing forty is a whole new ball game. Of course, as seen by simply checking out many in their 20’s at the mall or at the gym, “youth” does not equal fitness!! Many start to lose their fitness, especially if they do not exercise. If you keep this up, your muscles atrophy from lack of use, meaning your muscles begin to shrink and your metabolism slows.

This muscle atrophy is what many attribute to aging. However, that’s just not so. If you do not use it, you lose it. If you sit on your butt most of the day, your butt will get soft and jiggly! There’s nothing magic to it. Let the years pass and this process picks up speed! You want a nice toned butt even though you are now 45 and haven’t had one in 18 years? Well, you must get off it and move it, use weights, walk the steps, preferably two at a time. But take heart. Muscle atrophy and the resulting weight gain is NOT a given.

Your body starts to gain weight faster and faster as your muscles shrink and your metabolism slows down. Without any weight bearing exercises, your tendons no longer pull on your bones. Because your bones are not subjected to this “stress” and movement, they also begin to weaken over time.

If you’ve been the reverse – active your entire life – you may have overly stressed your joints and built up a great deal of oxidative stress from all the exercise. This physical stress also wears your body down. Physical stress also results from the foods we eat. Eating a lot of calories via low nutrient foods that take days to make their way out of our bodies wears our bodies out. Put all this together and you have what many call the aging effect, but what I call the “bad food, no exercise or over exercise effect.”

The essential question as these body changes take place is whether you can control or reverse this? As I’ve already alluded to, the good news is that you can! With some major changes in lifestyle, or if you are already in pretty good health, some tweaks,  women (and men) can remain or become fit and fabulous when they hit their 40’s.

 

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