People will shop interminably, ask endless questions and spend a lot of money to buy today’s luxuries like big screen TV’s, VCR’s and desktop computers and laptops. And once this sophisticated electronic gear is installed, they impulsively poke at keys and buttons on the chance that they can make it work with little or no reference to the manuals. They learn to live with equipment that functions minimally. It’s of no great concern because they won’t be punished for their indifference.
In a similar way, they shrug off their physical functions. Their hurry-up world has steered them away from the performance of their physical machine so delicately designed for healthy survival on this planet. Let their cars sputter for a moment on the freeway and they waste no time heading for the repair shop. Yet, when they find themselves out of breath after climbing a flight of stairs, they disregard the symptom, preferring not to consult the body’s manual of operation.
They grab pills instead, on the chance that one of them might work. Like their half used electronic devices, their bodies remain at a low level of performance.
We are biologically wired at birth with a warranty of threescore years and ten, but we tend to ignore the fine print with its numerous disclaimers. With proper care and maintenance, we can live far beyond the warranty. When we hit the wrong key, nature makes little allowance for the error. We get stamped with the deficiency, and we have to live with it. If the error is too great we may not live.
We can live longer or die sooner. The choice is ours. We can be either active or sedentary. It has always been the ethic of bodybuilders to plumb the depths of human physical behavior to determine a lifestyle that would ensure optimum function. Truths that have existed since time began have been ignored by modern man. Our forebears must have done the right thing to have handed us the legacy of life. The whole purpose of bodybuilding was to relearn the rules of nature to re-establish of form of life commensurate with the past. Primitive cultures and previous civilizations must have been faced with the same task, and they evidently came through with flying colors.
As bodybuilders, we learned long ago the importance of exercise, a balanced diet, proper rest, mental activity and peace of mind in ensuring a long and productive life. As a rule, bodybuilders going into their 70’s and 80’s today remain functional, healthy and independent. Bodybuilding has always been a form of re-search . The bodybuilding community itself was a great experimental group. We learned a lot by experience. We discovered things for ourselves, not waiting for scientists to do it for us. Today, we enjoy the benefits from both.
We knew you had to be fit to survive. There is no place for weakness. The laws of nature are fixed, finite and unforgiving. Early people had no drugs, or antibiotics to cure infectious diseases. They had to rely on their lifestyles as hard working athletes. Too many of today’s people have grown soft and dependent on scientific cures. Perhaps they live longer, but they have also become victims of incipient diseases due to their modern degenerative lifestyles.
Perhaps the greatest age related loss affecting health and daily activity is the loss of strength and total muscle mass. It comes as no surprise to us that scientists have recently observed the health benefits from strength training from people of all ages. In fact, the older you are, the more significant the health benefits.
With less muscle mass, your metabolic rate is lower, which means you must eat fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight. Which also means you get fewer nutrients and run the risk of becoming nutritionally deficient. Also, making matters worse is the increased need for certain nutrients with advancing age. Thus, the loss of muscle mass in the elderly is particularly alarming.
You can build muscle at any age. The sooner you get started the better. Every decade of your life has pitfalls that can be avoided by what you did previously. The bodybuilding you do today prepares you better for the threats awaiting you in the future.
If you don’t consult the manual and hit the right keys for the precisely functioning human machine presented to you at birth, you face life threatening consequences. I think the bodybuilding lifestyle is precisely what you need to keep your body up and running in perfection to the full extent of your warranty – and beyond.