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Use It or Lose It!

It is the truth and aging is a mind trap.

So let's read a story. A tale of 3 men... Peter, Gerald, and Dave. Let's put them in an MRI and see what their mid-thigh looks like in terms of muscle tissue, adipose (fat) tissue, and even bone structure.

Wroblewski AP, Amati F, Smiley MA, Goodpaster B, Wright V. Chronic exercise preserves lean muscle mass in masters athletes. The Physician and Sportsmedicine. 2011;39:172-178.
70 Year Old Triathlete vs. Sedentary

Here we have Peter, he is a 40 year old triathlete. You can see the femur (thigh bone) as the white dot/dark circle in the middle. You can see the muscle tissue as the dominant colour of the image, with the white outer layer being the adipose (fat) tissue. Looks like he trains pretty well!

Now looking at Gerald's MRI... Let's be honest, it doesn't look great. As we age, just like Gerald here, there are many of us who end up inactive and even a few of us that are seriously having a hard time controlling how we sit down in a chair, let alone get up out of that chair without some help from our upper body.

You can see why... the muscle tissue isn't looking very healthy, even the bone density doesn't look that solid... And the adipose tissue is the dominant tissue.

Now for those of you who are saying: 'Well that is aging for you'... Let's now look at Dave who still competes in triathlons. Muscle tissue looks great, bone density looks great and there is very little adipose tissue. Yes, Dave here is 70 years young!

Now, I know you are saying... 'Yeah, but that is a lot of work, I can't do that.' Totally understandable, training for triathlons is a lot of work.

What if I was to tell you that two 45 min sessions of strength training & mobility work a week could have a huge impact on your muscle gains, even to the point you could gain a 39-91% increase in strength over a 12 week period (1) with as little as 15 minutes of strength training per session? Or even as simple as adding in a few movement snacks each day to get you started!

Listen, I often work in long term care homes, I see first hand how effective movement & strength training are to increase quality of life. I understand how easy it is to give up, I see in the care homes how people are given wheelchairs even though they could easily use a walker and maintain more mobility and strength.

What do you want? What are you willing to work for to maintain the quality of life you want?

Think you can do two 45 min sessions a week?

P.S. By the way, this isn't just for the 'older' aging group, this also goes for those who are younger and on their way to knee/hip/shoulder replacements...

  1. Fisher J, Steele J, McKinnon P, McKinnon S. Strength Gains as a Result of Brief, Infrequent Resistance Exercise in Older Adults. Journal of Sports Medicine (Hindawi Publishing Corporation). 2014 ;2014:731890. DOI: 10.1155/2014/731890. PMID: 26464894; PMCID: PMC4590889.

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