To this day when you hear the term “build muscle” a vision of some muscle-bound bodybuilder is what comes to most people’s minds. It’s unfortunate because building muscle is the key to many, many things including longevity.
Longevity means different things to each of us but for clarity here is the definition from webster’s dictionary:
“1a: a long duration of individual life the members of that family are noted for their longevity.
b: length of life a study of longevity
2: long continuance:PERMANENCE, DURABILITY longevity in office is also an asset”
This definition points to a length of time which makes sense. I would add that to live for a long time is nice but it is also about HOW you live that is important as well. I see plenty of people that live into their nineties and they have been in a wheelchair since they were sixty being kept alive by drugs. That is not true longevity.
You need to ask yourself, if you want to live a long healthy life, what do I need to do today to give me the best shot at having a good quality of life as I age? Most people ignore this until it’s too late. Early on in my training career I used to train a lot of retired executives. Many of them had retired and decided to get healthy. While I believe it’s never too late to start, most of these individuals knew they made a grave mistake by the time they got to me. They waited too long. Their sole focus was on their career and their health paid the price. They were rich and feeble. Once in a while I would have an executive that was in great shape have me train them. Even though they were in decent shape they were looking for any edge they could get to live a long healthy life.
More and more research is pointing to the more muscle you can maintain the better, along with good cardiovascular health. None of this is rocket science or new. Here are my 3 simple keys to longevity or living your best health:
- Do whatever it takes to build muscle
- Make sure your cardiovascular system is challenged enough to get the benefits but don’t overdo it
- Stay hydrated
Are there more things you can do and should? For sure, but we are living in a society of fat sick people that are barely 30 years old. I recently started going to a gym along with my home gym workouts. It amazed me to see the number of people that were roughly 45-60 that were in better shape than the 20–40-year-olds. It shouldn’t be that way as they have age on their side. As a side note, in the big scheme the people I see at the gym is a small sample size compared to the rest of the population. Less than 16% of the population go to a gym and less than 20% are considered “active”. We are a joke as a society right now but I digress.
The point I am making is, do not be afraid of building muscle and start yesterday if you haven’t already. You have to challenge yourself to do the hard things and stop listening to society telling you everything should be easy. It’s a lie.