How to Age-Reverse Your Body

I used to eat a lot of pies.

By a lot, I mean 4 or 5 in one sitting.

I don’t remember this. My dad told me about it. He said one time Mom Niles had spent all day baking pies and had set them out on the dining table.

She was busy in the kitchen and didn’t hear me when I walked in, after finishing my chores in the barn.

I saw the pies, sat down and quietly helped myself.

She then comes out of the kitchen to see one lonely pie on the table and 5 empty pie tins.

I was about 15 or 16 years of age. I was lean, fit, and from what my Dad says, strong for my age. Who knows about that part. Dad was proud of me, I suspect.

And I guess I did this kind of thing, eating mountains of food, often.

Didn’t gain an ounce of weight.

I tell this story because what you could do at age 15, 20, or 25, you just can’t do at 40, 50, or 60.

I’m sure I would vomit like Linda Blair in The Exorcist if I ate 5 pies now.

When you’re 15, you’re getting stronger every year.

When you’re 50, you’re getting weaker every year. Yes, there’s plenty you can do to slow that down, but it still happens.

Your muscles get smaller.

There’s some disagreement about when the muscle shrinking starts, but just about all the experts agree that after the age of 65 (it’s more likely to start around 40 but you probably won’t see it), most people will experience shrinking muscles.

And, smaller muscles means less strength, quicker fatigue, less overall ability, and more fat on your body.

One of the reasons your muscles shrink is that the blood flow, for example in your legs, slows. This in turn alters how your body uses certain hormones, like insulin, which in turn alters how your body builds and breaks down muscle.

I don’t know about you but I’m not too thrilled about losing muscle mass. Sure, I can be as vain as the next guy but really, I have a lot of things I like to do, want to do, and I need my muscles to do their job.

Researchers have found that muscle building exercise age-reverses the blood flow in people of 65 years of age creating blood flow patterns of a 25 year old.1)Emilie A Wilkes, Anna L Selby, Philip J Atherton, Rekha Patel, Debbie Rankin, Ken Smith, and Michael J Rennie. Blunting of insulin inhibition of proteolysis in legs of older subjects may contribute to age-related sarcopeniaAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009))

That’s a different way to think about exercise – age reversal. I know of people who hate exercise, hate having to do any kind of workout. They expect the body to behave just as it did 30 or 40 years ago without doing anything.

Would you expect a classic car, say a 1963 Corvette, to run flawlessly in 2017 if you ignored the maintenance, just let it go?

No way.

Yet, we expect that from our bodies.

It’s not that hard to do, age-reverse your body (on a biologic level).

The downside to this is that you have to do some work. It’s not a pill or a lotion or a chant you repeat during morning meditations. You have to sling some weight around – eventually – and do it for five months, three times a week to produce the changes.

But good things take time. It’s just how stuff works.

Here are a couple of drills that will help you get started on age-reversing your legs. To do these, you should be able to squat on both legs without any joint pain (pain in or around the joints) in the back, hip, knee, or ankle.

  • Squat and Freeze: Perform 5 squats (without any extra weight or resistance). Stop the motion when your knee reaches about 90 degrees (thigh parallel to the ground). After the 5th squat, hold the squat position for 5 seconds then proceed right into the next series of squats again. Do this cycle 5 times, three times a week.
  • Split Squat: Stand with one foot out in front of the other – about 12-18 inches. Squat down until your knee reaches about a 90 degree angle then return to the starting position. After 12 repetitions, your muscles should be moderately tired (so, you could possibly do 2-3 more reps). If not, hold a 10 lb dumb bell in one hand and try again. Rest for a minute and repeat two more times. Then, switch legs so the oppostie leg is out in front.

If you’ve not exercised in a long time, visit a trainer or therapist and get some coaching first. That’s especially true if you have any kind of joint symptoms – aching, stiffness, pain, soreness. These drills are surprisingly difficult even without much weight. If these kinds of exercises are new to you, try one set, two days a week with a day or two in between for a couple of weeks and then add another set, etc. Ease into it.

Now if I could just find an exercise that would grow a head of hair……

That’s all I have for now.

Thanks for reading.
DK
_________________
PS – If you’re interested in what I do for exercise and training, go here. For my books, go here.

 

References   [ + ]

1. Emilie A Wilkes, Anna L Selby, Philip J Atherton, Rekha Patel, Debbie Rankin, Ken Smith, and Michael J Rennie. Blunting of insulin inhibition of proteolysis in legs of older subjects may contribute to age-related sarcopeniaAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009))