I was excited to read another article this month by Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., in the 2nd. Quarter issue of ACSM Certified News about the benefits of resistance exercise for older adults and elderly individuals. An enormous amount of research has been done since the 1980's on the benefits of muscle strengthening exercise and the aging body.
All people get older. That is a baseline of the human condition. But although the effects of age, broadly speaking, are part of the life cycle, how quickly and how much they develop is variable. We cannot change our DNA (yet). Some people have greater risks for heart disease, or cancer, for instance. But lifestyle choices can have an enormous impact across our lives on how we age, and even the way genes are expressed can be affected by those lifestyle choices.
An often asked question from clients is "Why can't I lose these last ____ pounds/inches?" The answer is not always the same due to variable factors that include age, gender, present lifestyle habits, chronic conditions, stress management, medication, etc., that can vastly alter the result of effective exercise and nutrition.
As I settle in to my 40's, I've developed a different perspective on aging. Perhaps this is due to working with older adults for almost all of my career in fitness, even back to the time when I worked in healthcare.