While over at my parents house- I showed my mom a workout routine that now she’s been doing 3 times a week. She’s seeing how my grandpa is aging with little strength and that is an added motivator for her to make some changes now.

Over the years one of my favorite stories from people I work with is how their enthusiasm for prioritizing their health has spread on to the people they love and care for. Especially parents and those who are older that get motivated to exercise or eat better.

Some of the transformations are remarkable, especially as the years go by and I check in and see the progress.  “My dad lost 50lbs” “My parents are in the gym” My mom sent me a recipe for a healthy version of this dish we used to make growing up”

The most important idea to note – regardless of age, it’s not too late to strengthen the body. Or add some things to the diet to help them operate better and lose some weight if that’s the case.  These changes will increase energy, reduce joint pains and keep chronic illness away. 

Beyond the age of thirty, you lose approximately 6lbs of muscle mass per decade.  3% per year after 40. Sarcopenia, or the degeneration and loss of muscle mass and strength is one of the deadliest health conditions affecting older adults.  

“People just don’t think about losing muscle mass and strength as they get older. If they do, they assume it’s just part of the aging process. They figure it’s unavoidable, because, after all, everyone around them just gets weaker and more decrepit as they age. It’s one of those “inevitabilities” that you “just have to accept.” Screw That. (Mark Sisson)

This study on strength training and mortality in older adults, gathered data on  more than 30,000 adults about health, disease and disability in the US from 1997-2011. They followed the participants during that duration through death certificate data to get a long term view of the association between strength training and mortality.

Older adults who engaged in strength training at least twice a week had 46% lower odds of death for any reasons than those who did not.  They also had 41% lower odds of dying from cardiac problems and 19% lower odds of dying from cancer.

I have the privilege to work with a guy named Paul that I admire that breached his 60’s in style.  I’ve actually been working with him for the past 5 years.  The guy is strong, plays hockey several times a week, cycles hard, climbs hard, runs his business, goes on excursions with his family and just sets the bar high for him and his family. 

I am inspired by Paul.  It’s how I envision my 60’s to be.  This message is not only for the people we love, but for you and I to keep an eye on our own wellness to ensure we live a long and good life.  

The body is a special and brilliant machine.  It’s never too late to show it some love.  I’ll end here with some recommendations, but I hope the message was clear in this article.  We love our parents and elder family and friends.  If we can help them live a better life – lets do it. 

If you have any questions on this topic just email me at ryc525@gmail.com 

Recommendations

Strength Training

Have your loved ones challenge the body. Start slow and with body weight simple movements but progression must be prioritized.  In other words, you need to lift (relatively) heavy things. So they need to progress in weight, intensity, and duration. 

Recommendation for strength training. 2 full body training days- max 10-15 reps of slow and controlled reps- the kicker is not to use light weights – challenge the body with care – you will be surprised.

Again start with bodyweight movements and then progress from there.  If exercise is new to them, have them work with a coach until they have an understanding on how to move the right way.  Bodyweight training to TRX training is a great transition. 

The number one cause of death and degeneration after age 70 is falling and breaking something.  Also add in some balance training.  Recommend minimalist shoes closer to bare foot than heavy or hard soles.  I’ll recommend what I wear in the next issue. 

Up the Protein

Once you’re over 40 – it’s harder to burn fat.  When older, your body is taking energy from mobilizing fat and putting it into your immune system , which triggers you to store fat as a protective process.  

If you’re over 50, your ability to utilize protein isn’t as good as it used to be, you need more protein to do the same job as a person 25 years younger.  Moreover, protein will help you lose body fat and retain (and even gain) the all-important lean muscle mass.

Remember to get good quality protein.  Supplement with collagen or eat collagen rich foods as stated previously.  

Vitamins- B,C,D

When older, we don’t convert sunlight into Vitamin D as we did when you’re younger. You’d have to supplement with marine source protein or supplement it.

Green Tea

Green tea, considered by many to be the ultimate “anti-aging beverage.” In Okinawa, Japan — one of the world’s “Blue Zones” that’s associated with longevity —drinking green tea daily is considered “essential.

  • Reducing atherosclerosis and risk of heart disease
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reducing cholesterol levels
  • Reducing inflammation in arthritis cases
  • Improving bone density
  • Improving memory
  • Preventing cancer

Antioxidants and other beneficial compounds found in this tea include flavonoids and catechins like EGCG, quercetin, linoleic acid, theobromine and theophylline. These provide many of the benefits of green tea.

Some of the anti-aging effects and benefits of green tea include reduced inflammation, protection against heart disease, liver disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, and potentially help with weight maintenance and preventing cancer.

Ryan Chandlall

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