Age 50 didn’t daunt me as much as 55 is looming. Maybe because I was still grieving my late husband at 50, while trying to just get through day to day. Now, the perspective is wider as life has continued to move forward. At this junction, I feel far more alive! But living doesn’t mean living well. I’m within a week of 55. I clearly realize now, 55 isn’t nearly as old as I thought it was in my 20’s. 55 isn’t old at all. I had proudly said at the big 5-0 birthday that “50 was the new 30”. I believed it too, because I was the fittest I had been in years. What I didn’t know then, but I do now, is that at age 30 you start to lose muscle mass. Dang! We all know that “Aging is inevitable but aging well is not”(gethealthy.com). We have already touched on all the benefits exercise has in store for us in other blogs, but the bottom line is that exercise actually wards of the affects of aging. Exercise is the fountain of youth. The loss of muscle mass is the greatest contributor to the symptoms of aging. According to Muscle, Ligament and Tendon Journal the aging process is defined as “changes in the muscle mass and strength with decline of muscle strength after the 30th year of life.” Fortunately, muscle loss is reversible.
I feel like the pieces are falling together better now, at almost 55, but they seem to be physically falling apart too. What’s up with that? Additional inflammatory issues, more degenerative disease, throw in more arthritis and have a happy birthday! Really? Yea…that’s not the gift I was wanting. But THAT won’t stop me. I have been working out like some crazy women. I watch calories, record everything, weight and strength train, stretch, run stadiums, hike, bike, don’t drink alcohol, but intake a lot of water, eat mostly a raw and vegan diet with a significant caloric deficit with TINY results. But results non-the less. I think it has to do with my age…. darn it. It’s been documented that “muscle loss nearly doubles after age 50.” (Humankinetics.com) Geezzzzz. That is motivation for me to keep it up with the strength training and keeping the cardio workouts too. If we can add even a small amount of heavy weight training, we’re combating against a lot of degenerative diseases caused by the aging process” according to Nikki Warren, founder and CEO of Kaia FIT, a women’s workout franchise with strength training and HIIT training as its core.
Happy Birthday to me. The best, most long-lasting gift I can give myself is strength and better health, bringing with it stamina and fortitude (and hopefully my slim clothes body back). We are our own best asset. With that idea, I take everything a bit more serious these days looking at the consequences while seeking results. But I still have a loud laugh that accompanies my sense of humor. I am happy and healthy. I live. I love and love to laugh. Every single moment counts. It’s a lifestyle choice to live longer. So, hit the gym and the trails. Just do it. Keep moving. Use it or loose it. I have adventures planned for my body, so I better take the very best care of it. Accept challenges. Break past your comfort zone. Expand. Live out loud and defy the aging process. Appreciate that you are ALIVE. The longer you live the more important strength and health become because the deck begins to stack against you. You can do it! Happy Birthday to everyone. Give yourself the best gift possible filled with love… be fit, be trim and be strong … for YOU. You are worth it!
55 and alive. I’m looking forward to an outstanding year to come. I’ll celebrate and make it great. And I’ll keep hiking and working out too.