The Secret to Aging Gracefully: Training from 40 Onwards
In the pursuit of a healthy and extended life, physical activity plays a crucial role. Dr. Peter Atiyeh, a Canadian specialist in longevity and optimal health, emphasizes that resistance training with weights is the most essential activity for achieving good health. According to Dr. Atiyeh, the goal of living longer is not only to extend lifespan but also to live it in good health, which requires preserving the body and mind.
Non-smokers are also susceptible to fatal diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, and metabolic diseases such as diabetes and fatty liver. To prevent these diseases and enjoy a healthy and long life, Dr. Atiyeh recommends investing in strength training with weights from the age of 40. Resistance training can lead to significant improvements in maintaining bone density and muscle strength, which are essential in preventing falls and injuries that can lead to disability and bedriddenness at a young age.
Muscle and bone weakness are the most common cause of disability and death for people over 65 in the Western world. Therefore, investing in strengthening the bones and muscles is necessary, and weight training is the most effective way to achieve this. The more effort put into the bones, the more the body understands that it must take care of strong and dense bones, which is more critical than calcium intake or any other nutrient.
For women, in particular, prioritizing muscle and bone strength over weight loss is crucial. A woman can be thin but with little muscle tissue and weak bones, which can lead to a host of health problems. Having a body composition with a high percentage of muscle and strong bones, even if it means weighing a little more, is critical to their health. Resistance training should, therefore, be an essential part of every woman's fitness regimen to prevent disability and promote good health.
Long-term studies have shown that the lack of muscle strength and weak bones are significant risk factors for people aged 60 and above. In many cases, a fall can lead to disability and bedridden status at a relatively young age, even for healthy individuals without diseases. Osteoporosis is one such disease caused by a lack of physical activity. Investing 30 minutes in resistance training three times a week causes far-reaching changes in the ability to live a healthy and long life. The training need not be intense, but it is essential to increase weights gradually and consistently challenge the body.
Dr. Atiyeh's interest in longevity began during his time as an oncological surgeon when he realized that treating people with cancer was often too late. He saw that the healthcare system focused on extending life expectancy but did not prioritize prolonging life in good health and preventing chronic diseases. This realization prompted Dr. Atiyeh to change his focus to research and treatment of people with the aim of prolonging their lives in good health. He believes that resistance training against weights is the most important action a person can take to reach the age of 70 and over in good health.
Dr. Atiyeh highlights the significance of resistance training with weights, particularly for women, as they tend to prioritize weight loss over their body's internal health. Women who are thin may lack muscle tissue and strong bones, which can negatively impact their overall health. To combat this, Dr. Atiyeh recommends women focus on building a body composition with a high percentage of muscle and robust bones, even if it means a slightly higher weight.
Moreover, Dr. Atiyeh reveals that 80% of non-smoker deaths result from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, and metabolic diseases such as diabetes and fatty liver. However, the risk of these diseases can be significantly reduced by maintaining a physically active lifestyle, getting adequate sleep, consuming a balanced diet, taking prescribed medications and nutritional supplements, and managing mental stress.
Dr. Atiyeh recommends a simple yet effective way to maintain bone density and muscle strength for optimal health and longevity. By investing just 30 minutes in resistance training three times a week, individuals can achieve far-reaching benefits that diet alone cannot match. Strength training using weights has been proven to be particularly effective in maintaining bone density, as our bones store vital minerals like calcium which are essential for proper cellular function. It's important to gradually increase weight and consistently challenge the body in order to achieve optimal results.
In addition to resistance training, Dr. Atiyeh suggests incorporating Zone 2 intensity aerobic exercises like fast walking or light running into a training program for even greater health benefits. However, he emphasizes that physical activity for achieving physical health is not the same as physical activity for achievement, and recommends tailoring exercise routines accordingly. By following these simple guidelines, individuals can improve their overall health and increase their chances of living a long and healthy life.
Muscle and bone weakness are the most common cause of disability and death for people over 65 in the Western world, so it is encouraged for all those 40 and older to invest in strengthening their bones and muscles, and before anything else - buy a set of weights and start training. A strong body is key to aging in good health. Dr. Atiyeh emphasizes this message, especially to women. Women tend to focus too much on the number that appears on the scale and too little on what happens to them inside the body. A woman can be thin but with little muscle tissue and weak bones. It is better for women to be a little less thin and have a body composition with a high percentage of muscle and strong bones, even if it means weighing a little more.
The great danger that lurks for us at the age of 60 and older is related to a lack of muscle strength and weak bones. In many cases, the fall of a healthy person without diseases can decide his fate and make him disabled and bedridden at a relatively young age. Osteoporosis is one of the diseases caused by a lack of physical activity. Today it is already known that strength training against weights is much more effective than diet for maintaining bone density. Beyond falls and injuries, our bones are also the body's calcium stores, a mineral that has critical meaning for the normal functioning of each and every cell in our body.
Investing 30 minutes in resistance training three times a week causes far-reaching changes in the ability to live a healthy and long life. The training does not have to be intense, but it is important to increase weights gradually and constantly challenge the body. The more the body exerts itself in lifting weights, the more it takes care of building a stronger bone that will withstand the load.
In addition to strength training, aerobic training is also important. Exercising in Zone 2 is the basis of physical activity and the training program. Zone 2 refers to a range of moderate-intensity exercises, such as fast walking or light running that can be sustained for a long period of time. Aerobic exercise can help to improve cardiovascular health, boost the immune system, and even improve mental health.
It is important to note that physical activity and exercise are not just important for physical health but also for mental health. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also improve cognitive function and memory.