By Nathan Honess
In many ways, our age is what defines us. At 16 we can join the army or play the lottery, at 18 we can buy cigarettes or get a tattoo, and at 21 we can buy alcohol in the States. But after this point we’re legally allowed to do most things permitted by age.
Traditional beliefs start to take over, deeming we should – amongst other things – settle down with a family, hold down a good job, and be a winner at life by the time we hit 40.
If we look at the biology of men and women, both sexes face different health challenges when it comes to age. For women, it’s the menopause when estrogen levels decline (normally between age 45 and 55). Symptoms include hot flushes, low mood, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating.
For men, testosterone levels deplete one percent per year after age 30. Testosterone is the main sex hormone in males which controls muscle strength, libido, and sperm production. Low-T levels can, among other symptoms, result in loss of muscle mass and mood swings.
Testosterone reduction and menopause are hormone-related issues and impact fitness in similar ways. Weight gain is a common factor between the two, as well as the reduced urge to want to exercise.
While none of us can stop the hands of time, we can keep on top of our well-being through a good diet and exercise.
One of the worst mindsets you can fall into is succumbing to age cliches: “I’m no spring chicken”, “It’s the middle-aged spread creeping up on me”. If anything, phrases like these are the push you need to work more on your fitness as the birthday candles stack up.
There’s no escaping that we’re an aging population. The longer we live, the longer we need to stay healthier. So, the next time you debate staying at home or hitting the treadmill, weights room, or spin class, get up and choose the latter … it’s an investment that will serve you in years to come.
Nathan Honess has over fifteen years’ experience helping people improve their health and wellbeing, with a large portfolio of clients in his work as a personal trainer. In 2020, Nathan released his first book, Body and Goal: Realise Your Fitness Potential.