Fitness, a topic that many are interested in, but are just unwilling to put in the time. What does it take to become more physically fit? Hard work, dedication and consistency. But what does it take to maintain your physicality after a certain age? This article will serve as the first of many, to describe my journey to fitness at 50 and beyond. No matter your age, those who have that “Improvise, Adapt and Overcome” type mentality, will understand that to maintain an edge you must use all the tools available.
Okay, so you may be asking yourself; what the hell is he talking about?” Physical Fitness; two words that most adult males have absolutely no time for, but should. And if you don’t find a way to make time for it, you WILL lose it. There are very few naturally occurring “freaks of nature” who can continue to do nothing and look like they haven’t aged a bit, but many of us cannot. So this article and those that will follow, will help give you the tools as well as some of my experiences in and out of the gym, to be able to better combat the “age factor” in fitness.
Now, I would never trade being 49 years old, there are some great benefits to it, but if I wasn’t in decent physical health from years of an active lifestyle, I may absolutely hate this time in my life. I might be overweight to a point that my health reflects it with adult diseases such as; diabetes, congestive heart failure, COPD or emphysema, high blood pressure or many of the common ailments for men over 50. Maybe it would be simpler things like erectile dysfunction (although not so simple there) or overall lack of confidence. If you are one of those who is interested in getting the most out of our short time on earth, follow along with this series and see if we can’t have our cake, and eat it too.
Let’s talk about backgrounds. For myself I’ve almost always been the active type, forever wanting to be outdoors doing something. Maybe it’s the Scots/Irish ancestry, the strong male role-models or my desire to do as much as I could. I don’t know, but I was always in “decent” shape. Yet with all the solid male influences in my life, they knew very little about overall male health and fitness, and talked about it even less. They mostly said things like; “You wanna be fit? Go throw that bale or lift that wood. That’ll get ya in shape quick.” Well, they were right for sure, but many jobs became more mental and less physical, yet it still didn’t give me much knowledge of what to expect as I aged. So I basically had to learn about male health and fitness on my own, which included the teenage stories we heard in the locker rooms and finally the several years of schooling I managed to attain in my 20s and 30s filled in the gaps.
Now, I am most certain there has always been some type of “man code” that was written years ago, and handed down from generation to generation that precluded discussing things like “prostate health” or “erectile dysfunction” (and I get it. I don’t typically talk “penis function” over beers with my buddies either). Yet it’s really too bad that we weren’t taught a bit more candor when it concerns these areas, because I believe a lot of deaths or failed marriages could’ve been avoided if only we had the “balls” to talk about it. I guess it’s time we overcome some of those “old school” stigmas and talk just a bit more in-depth about male health.
Alright, so anybody who has watched a bit of television (I’m not one to sit and do much of that), but I have noticed that some of the aging male “Hollywood superstuds” have gotten pretty “buffed” up, and in record time I might add. I won’t call any of them out by name, but some of these guys are going from “lazy, dumpy, beer bellied to “Rocky” hard “Top Guns” in less than a month. Many will say; “Yeah, but they live a life of luxury. Paying for the best of the best in food, supplements and personal trainers.” In fact, that is correct. They do live on “Easy Street” when it comes to staying in shape, and many of them are making fat cash for endorsing products they use to get in shape, but the real question is; Do those products really work?
The sports supplement industry will tell you they do, as they continue to make millions of dollars every year off these so-called “Fountains of Youth” without any true studies to prove they work. Many people are just praying they’ll work, because every one wants that “magic pill” that will transform them into a “thirtysomething” Chippendales dancer. Well it is and never will be that easy, yet these guys are doing it. So what are they doing to maintain their muscle mass while sporting shredded abs?
TESTOSTERONE , a good diet and a solid workout program!
Many are going to say; “Wait, isn’t that the infamous and illegal (in the United States anyway) yet non-addictive drug of choice for “body building muscle freaks?”. Why yes it is, and this article and the many more to follow, will show the “good, the bad and the ugly” side of testosterone. Why it was banned? Why it’s been legally available in foreign countries for so long? As well as why there are so many television commercials claiming that it’s killing millions of men?
In this series of articles I will incorporate not only the information I have on testosterone replacement therapy, but also the different exercise programs and nutritional needs we males will need in our arsenal as we age, as well as the general health concerns that plague the aging male. Of course most of these articles will be tailored to our male readers, but a majority of the topics are good overall fitness tips for women as well. Even though we are tailoring this series for men from 20 to 70 and beyond, we have several “fitness chicks” on staff, who are waiting to share their information with you as well.
So now that you know what to expect, I will also be tracking my progress as I embark my own “testosterone replacement therapy program” from Royal Mens Medical Center an at-home treatment program. I know many guys will be saying; “Yeah, I don’t need testosterone, I’ve got a surplus of that shit coursing through my junk.” The fact is, maybe you do, or maybe you don’t. Unless you’ve had the blood work to determine your natural testosterone levels, you really have no clue, but it is a fact that the average male testosterone levels peak in your teens and start tapering off in your mid-20s. The downward spiral continues more rapidly in your 30s and 40s, and combined with the daily stress of adulthood, it can exacerbate the effects of low T, which can include fatigue, erectile dysfunction and lack of libido just to name a few.
Now, if you can manage to work an 8-10 hour day, juggle a wife and kids and still hit the gym to stay in shape, you may be able stave off the effects and actually maintain healthy levels for quite some time, but many just cannot manage that type of schedule. Supplementation of this hormone may be the single most prolific advance in male health. Now trust me, it’s not a “magic” pill that most guys are looking for. It doesn’t just make you healthy, but combined with a healthy diet and a good, solid exercise program, it could make “50 the new 30″ with much less effort.
I hope that everyone who reads this series, will take something away that can help them. Whether it is tips on nutrition, fitness, exercise or the supplements that help create a healthier body, there are ways to make your life a bit more interesting and fruitful as you age. So remember, being physically fit isn’t always about having that ultra-ripped look (although it does help), but it’s also about having the confidence you can gain from being the very best you can be.
Exercise is the true “Fountain of Youth”, and it is paramount to ensuring an active lifestyle “til they put you in the ground”, but if there are a few things we can do to make it a bit easier (things most people aren’t willing to discuss), then why not explore those “other” options as well?
Feel free to comment and ask questions on any of our articles, and let us know if there is anything we can help you with… We will do our best to answer all questions in future articles.
Here’s to; “getting out there and enjoying life”, now and into the future!
Patrick James has worked as a firefighter/EMT for several services throughout the years, as well as a custom metal fabricator, certified personal trainer and chef.
Growing up in the rural suburbs of Detroit, it was during his frequent trips to Northern Michigan where he learned of his love for hunting and fishing. Spending several of his adult years in upstate South Carolina, his love of extreme sports took root in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains as he learned to rock climb and kayak.
“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and vanish into air.” ~ John Quincy Adams