Researchers at University College London found a direct link between major health problems like heart disease, strokes and diabetes, and the amount of exercise done.
Those who regularly undertook moderate or vigorous physical activity at least once a week were much more likely to be “healthy agers” than those who remained inactive.
People who became physically active during the eight-year monitoring period were three times more likely to be healthy agers than those who remained inactive.
And those who engaged in regular physical activity for the whole eight years were seven times more likely to be healthy than those who did no exercise.
The authors wrote: “Sustained physical activity was prospectively associated with improved healthy ageing – absence of disease, freedom from disability, high cognitive and physical functioning, good mental health.
“Significant health benefits were even seen among participants who became physically active relatively late in life.
“The results support public health initiatives designed to engage older adults in physical activity.”
This week in the gym was a tough one for me.
I officially entered my 60’s last week and I didn’t take it well.
We stayed home, cooked, huddled together with the dogs and cats and waited for the 24 hour period to pass.
This was not the me I used to know.
That person would raise a middle finger to the wind and pull a gym PR.
This time it was different.
I felt depressed, vulnerable and perilously introspective.
Some call it rumination, a synonym for clinical depression in my book.
Instead of getting over it, I tried to walk through it.
The first day in the gym I suffered a nose bleed in the middle of my dead-lifts.
That blew my day because the bleeding wouldn’t stop.
The next day in the gym I suffered a a bout of hypoglycemia, which made me nauseous, forcing me to leave the gym to eat.
Then I started feeling these out of body experiences, coupled with extreme fatigue.
Yep, I was officially old and falling apart.
Life had it talons in me and I was completely and utterly fucked.
So I called my therapist who then told me that what I was experiencing was a late stage midlife crisis.
I’m beyond midlife by 15 years.
I think of it now as a late 3rd quarter reckoning.
I needed more facts to get through this, but I needed more hardcore facts to get through this so I called my Internist.
Blood work good. Arteries clear.
So what the hell was it?
I booked a 90 minute massage, talked to my girlfriend [who assumed I was losing my mind], then finally had a heart-to-heart with myself.
My nosebleed was caused by a strong anti-inflammatory that I happened to take the morning of a tough workout. Not advisable according to my physician it thins the blood, which can lead to nosebleeds under the pressure of heavy weights.
Note to self: If you want to take this drug, do so after a workout when blood pressure isn’t through the roof [with 450 pounds or more in my hands].
Done. No more nosebleeds.
Blood glucose levels fall when people like me don’t eat enough.
Was I not eating enough?
Not even close.
Subconsciously I have been cutting calories because I prefer to be extremely lean.
But it’s impossible to achieve the look I would like without the help of anabolic steroids, which I don’t take.
So I started concentrating on eating more, eating better, fueling my body in a very conscious and proactive way.
Suddenly, no more blood sugar crashes, fatigue gone, and I felt like myself again.
Funny how that works.
I bring all this up because a lot of things happen below the surface in men like me who feel like adolescents in the bodies of older men.
We’re forced to grow up again and again.
And that’s okay because constant maturity has never been a strong-suit of mine, and reality checks are just part of what keeps me going.
As most people know at this stage of the game, denial is the mother of misery.