If a poll was taken asking people how they would define a healthy person, my guess is that their first answer would be:
Someone who is not overweight.
Decent answer, but awful.
What if you were 70 years old, had bad posture, shoulder pain, knee pain, overall muscle weakness, poor mobility, no aerobic conditioning, and a weak heart.
But, you were at a “healthy weight”.
Conversely, what if you were 70 years old, had good posture, healthy shoulders, manageable knee pain or none at all, great upper and lower body strength, good mobility, solid aerobic conditioning, and a strong heart.
But, you were 20 pounds “overweight”.
The Second Half of Life
Ever heard the saying “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone”?
Yeah, everybody has heard it.
That is the best way for me to get this point across.
In your 20s, 30s, and 40s the idea of losing muscle likely never crosses your mind because you don’t have to deal much with it.
I am not talking about muscle built in the gym, I am referring to the muscle you have on your body genetically.
Having the muscular ability to perform daily tasks like picking up something reasonably heavy, climbing stairs with the vacuum, getting off the toilet or out of the car, those things are a given.
We take them for granted because in the first half of life they are simple and done without second thought.
Most people don’t appreciate having muscle until it starts disappearing.
Why Am I Telling You This
The other day a client of mine told me that a friend of theirs had an interesting conversation with their personal trainer.
The friend told the trainer “I don’t want to have to have to workout forever”.
To which the trainer replied, “then you are going to have to get your eating dialed in”.
First, let’s be clear that a bang on nutrition plan day in and day out coupled with any potentially needed supplementation is AWESOME.
There is NO doubt about that.
You wouldn’t be overweight and you would all and all feel pretty good even without working out in your younger years.
As you get older however, this approach would slowly start bleeding its effectiveness.
Eventually, simply not being overweight and taking in quality nutrition has it’s limits to making you feel good.
Not immediately, but over time:
-You will lose muscle
-Develop bad posture
-Likely develop shoulder pain from not having the muscle to properly move the upper body
-Likely develop knee pain from not having the muscle to properly move the lower body
-Progressively lose mobility making daily tasks and movement harder
-Lose aerobic capability
-Lose heart strength
What Should This Mean For You
As I said earlier, I am well aware of the AWESOME benefits of proper nutrition and supplementation, but the debate here is not would you rather have great nutrition or exercise.
I am also not trying to say it’s okay to be 50 pounds overweight as long as you workout.
The obvious conclusion is that a proper nutrition protocol coupled with a sound workout program is INTEGRAL to long term health and wellness if you desire to be in great shape as you get older.
I have said it a million times — being in great shape is one of the hardest things someone can do.
It takes serious hard work and consistency for….well, ever.
However, it is very rewarding and can be the difference between a great second half of your life and a crummy sidelined one.
If you are wondering what my response would have been if I was in the conversation with my client’s friend, it would have probably been:
If you have any questions feel free to email me at: JwaltersPT@gmail.com
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