As we age in life their are some changes that can be expected and must be accepted, however some changes that might be brushed off as normal signs of aging might be the body giving you a sign that there is a problem or something different needs to be done to avoid future problems.
In many cases, the so-called signs of aging are actually the body’s way of saying it is time to change diet, get more active and even learn how to manage personal stress a bit better. The signs to watch out for that are not “normal” and don’t have to go along with getting older include:
Consistent annual weight gain – Most people expect to gain weight as they get older. Expecting it is one thing; accepting it another. Consistent annual gains are not necessarily normal. They actually signal a need to get more active, eat better and take better care. There’s no reason to accept weight gain with aging as a fact that cannot be changed.
Lessening of breath – Walking up a flight of stairs, taking a long walk, playing with kids and other activities that didn’t wind you when you were younger, should not wind you now. If you’re having trouble on this front, it’s time to make some positive changes. Getting more active can make a big difference and prevent problems later.
Loss of flexibility – Flexibility issues often go along with aging, but they are not normal. The body can remain very flexible even well into advanced years if stretching and exercise stay a part of the routine.
Increase in blood pressure – This is a serious sign that it is time to change the daily routine. Blood pressure increases are not a normal part of aging and they can be rather dangerous if left unchecked. Changing diet and becoming more physically active can help stop this problem before it becomes a serious issue.
Increases in stress – Everyone deals with stress in their daily lives. Increases, however, are not normal parts of aging. Stress is a silent killer that can be battled effectively with a few minor changes in routine. Exercising, eating healthy, getting enough sleep and even learning how to meditate can stop this problem in its tracks. While stress will never go away, its impacts can be curtailed when the right measures are taken. When the right actions are taken, health can be improved and those nagging signs just might go away.
When taking action to improve your health it’s important that you take the correct actions in order to maximize results and set yourself up for success. In most cases the average person who is on the path of self improvement will join the local fitness club and without any or very little guidance start using the many exercise machines that are offered. Doing a daily circuit on the fancy machines at the local health club becomes routine and to the uninformed seems like the right thing to do.
The reality is however that although something is better than nothing you could be setting yourself up for failure right from the start and in many cases causing problems for your body that could take weeks, months, or years to correct.
There are multiple reasons I say this and the first is that machines are boring and become very monotonous for most people and after a relatively short period of time will leave you looking for more. More importantly the results you are looking for that will address or prevent the problems discussed earlier in the article will be extremely slow to show themselves and maybe even non-existent.
Lastly there is a danger associated with training with machines! Although widely considered a safe way to workout, machines could be hurting you more than helping you in the long run. The problem is training with machines is very unnatural for the human body by way of isolating one muscle at at time for exercise. In everyday life as human beings we don’t isolate muscles, in every action we take muscles work together in concert to accomplish a movement. Therefore training in isolation with machines is completely opposite from how we function as humans and will become problematic.
Now if you are an educated and experienced fitness trainer or working with one while using machines you can do a pretty good job making sure your hitting all the muscles in the body equally however, it is my experience that this doesn’t happen often. Additionally even the best training regimen with machines still doesn’t achieve functional movements as we do in everyday life.
It is because of this that on a regular basic people who have used machines for years to exercise come to me with extremely poor balance, posture, and functional abilities. Their bodies have lost the ability for this, it like the old saying “if you don’t use it you lose it”. Now after years of what they thought was the right thing to do, taking steps to improve or maintain health has actually caused long term problems. Once these problems are developed it can be corrected with a lot of hard work and dedication but definitely not over night!
The best thing one can do to avoid this from happening is get into a functional fitness program with an experienced coach to guide you. Functional fitness program being defined as a program that uses no machines but uses kettlebells, balls, wheels, ropes, rocks, tires just to name a few. Not to mention that functional training produces twice the results in half the time.
The success of functional training can be credited to the fact that the entire body is being worked against gravity in unison. There is a significant full body muscle activation not found in machine type training. It is because of this that you can do much more work in a shorter amount of time producing rapid results.
Functional training teaches the body how to contend with a constantly changing center of gravity replicating the same forces encountered in play, sport, and daily life. This is done by working the body across a wide variety of planes and angles just as we as humans function in everyday life. This is not an aspect of training that can be mimicked in machine training.
Choosing a fitness program is a big investment so make smart choices that will pay off big in the long run. Sometimes this may require you to get outside your comfort zone, face your fears, and challenge what you thought you were capable of.
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