- Age 40: Muscle mass decreases annually by up to one percent. Although one percent is not much, consider 10 quick years from now.
- Age 60: Muscle mass decreases annually by up to 1.5 percent each year.
- Age 70: Muscle mass decreases annually by up to 3 percent each year.
Fitness for Middle-Agers
by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner A fitness commitment at any age can be a challenge. Middle age has its own obstacles to achieving fitness goals. Remain steadfast at this life-stage. Here is how to manage it ... There is not an official year-span to define "middle age." Some consider it the middle of the average lifespan, starting around the fourth decade. Others stretch the definition to include those up to age 60 years. Perhaps the definition changes based on how we feel during any given day, and what we predict our lifespan to be. Some key elements of middle agedness can be assumed. It is often the time when those random gray hairs are noticed, maybe in the mirror of a child's college dorm room. Your flushed reflection catches you unawares, confirming you no longer can bolt up five flights of stairs with suitcases and furnishings in hand. Such are the stereotypical occurrences of middle age: transforming appearance, reduced cardio capacity, and increased waistline. The human body changes through each phase of life. The quality with which one ages is considered 30 percent genetic. The remaining 70 percent is based on individual choices. The Right Choices Regular exercise during middle age can help prevent chronic health conditions for years to come. It also helps those years-to-come exist in the first place. One study of 18,000 individuals with an average age of 49 years confirmed fitness level was directly related to the chance of developing serious health issues over a 26-year follow-up. Women often experience menopause during middle age, which increases the occurrence of osteoporosis. Approaching this change with a fitness routine allows healthier bones than their sedentary counterparts. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reported as little as two hours of exercise per week was helpful in osteoporosis prevention. [caption id="attachment_8183" align="alignright" width="300"] Kick in some self-time. You've earned it.[/caption] During middle age, one frequently shares the conundrum of the sandwich generation. There is a struggle to simultaneously provide care to both parents and children. Compiled with demanding careers in a risky economy and a fast-paced social world, middle agers barely have time for a full night's sleep, let alone time or energy to exercise. We all know the facts of a busy life. This intense lifestyle is what makes remaining healthy essential. And exercise will get you there. Fat Facts Starting around age 40, muscle strength decreases each year. This age-related loss of muscle mass and strength is called sarcopenia. Just do nothing and it happens!