Tag Archive | Muscles

Mortal Combat: Beating The Signs Of Aging

It’s something that we can’t deny, the looming of Old Mother Time will get us all eventually, and while we hit a peak with both our physical and emotional health, both start a gradual decline that we can get quite concerned about. But what are the key changes in the body as we age, and what can we do to prevent them?

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Bones

As we age we lose our bone density, also known as osteoporosis. Part of the reason our bones become less dense is because of the lack of calcium, as the body will absorb less calcium (and vitamin D) from foods. Certain bones tend to weaken more than others such as the bones in the spine, which can be very painful, and while you can pay a visit to the chiropractors to work on realigning your spine, you can work at increasing your bone density by doing a few things. Exercise, especially resistance based ones, has been shown to increase bone density. You should also increase your intake of calcium and vitamin D, and up your intake of good fats, as these will help to absorb the calcium and vitamin D into your bones. In addition to this, you need to cut back on foods that will take calcium from your bones, such as carbonated drinks, caffeine, and the main culprit, refined sugar.

Muscles (And Body Fat)

The decrease in muscle mass starts around the age of 30 and is caused by the decrease in levels of growth hormone, or testosterone in men. Most people will only lose about 10 to 15% of their strength due to age, but there are issues like sarcopenia which comes from extreme inactivity. You can continue to strengthen your muscles as you age by taking part in resistance training, or anything that requires you to fight against gravity, from sit-ups to push-ups and pull-ups. Body weight exercises are a great place to start. Exercising is also great to reduce body fat as you age. By the age of 75, your amount of body fat tends to double in comparison to your early 20s and 30s, which will increase the risk of illnesses like diabetes.

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The Brain

Generally, the number of nerve cells will decrease in the brain as you age, but although your brain is able to compensate by making new connections between the nerve cells, your brain will tend to have more cells than it needs to do standard activities, also known as redundancy. Of course, the concern for many of us as we age is the onset of age-related cognitive decline, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. The trick to preventing this as best as possible is, again, exercise, but for your brain. That feeling of frustration when you’re learning something new is the thing you should be aiming for. This is the point where your brain is making new connections and neurons. So by doing things that are completely brand new, from learning an instrument to a language, this is what will keep your mind sharp and fresh.

These are the three areas that you need to focus on to age well. And, remember, it is never too late to start, no matter how old you are.

Growing Muscles…Writers Quote Wednesday.

Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got. Philip José Farmer

Inside me, when I write, I stand tall. I feel a certain clench and release that I don’t experience from anything else. That’s what writing does to me. I feel an expansion of my spirit, my soul, and my mind.

As is commonly said, the art of practice brings about a perfection and though there are times that I question myself, my sanity and conviction, personal experience with scriggling and drabbling has shown me how true it is.

I find that my vivid imagination keeps getting sharper as each day goes by and it’s veering towards seeing things in 3D perspectives from the mundane details and beauty in the ordinary to the complex structure and questions that pop up inside my head. It only means that it can get better as the muscle gets fine-tuned.

Writing is certainly not an easy exercise even when we think that we have the gift of the garb and have all the structures well put together. As a matter of opinion, I find that writers are most times less assured of their writing than those who don’t write, but the passion and the loud voices that nags in one’s head won’t let you be until you’ve had your say.

Like the quote has said, and I reiterate, keep pushing the boundaries of your imaginative muscles. Explore by pushing the strictures of your boundaries and comfort. I am trying to venture outside my zone of cruise control, to a bumpy side. I bet the knowledge gained from trying new reading material and writing aspect won’t be a wasted venture.

I would rather keep pushing it, writing and shooting crabs than stopping. In the midst of the written rubbish, there’s bound to be a couple of useful material and by the time I am done with my muscle development, I might actually stand a chance of knocking Mayweather flat on his hard backside in a boxing ring with the feathered tip of my pen.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Image credit: Pixabay