Back … way back in the early 1970's … I met a guy who had been the welterweight boxing champion of the world for a few years, back in the mid 1940's. I was in my twenties and he was in his sixties. He was a very engaging gentleman and he challenged me to a game of chess, which turned into several games, all of which he won.
So much for boxing damaging his brain. After that, he challenged me to a race of two hundred yards, or so, which I lost badly. Then, it was arm wrestling, which he won easily, and let me just say that he was fit as a fiddle. He showed me all his photos and he knew everyone who was anyone, once upon a time.
Looking back, some of the most striking photos were of him as a very young man. In some of those he was 11 or 12 and he was lifting 100 pound sacks of grain, like a young Hercules. In others, he was climbing rope in a big barn, using only his arms, which is no small feat. That is something I'll bet 99% of young men today could not do.
He had a fitness routine that he did all the time, regardless of the elements. It involved some running, some shadow boxing, lifting different kinds of objects and carrying things. He did not have a single piece of what we today would call "gym equipment." He just used what he had around him and quit, when he had worked up a good sweat. At 64, he was one of the strongest people I have ever met.
A friend of mine started working out again recently, after a break of more than twenty years. In his day, he was a pretty good athlete, but when he started working out, he was a good 40 pounds overweight, maybe closer to 50. His first two weeks were pretty hard on him, but he kept at it. The only real change he made in his diet, in the beginning, was giving up his beloved Dr. Pepper.
He lost 20 pounds in the first six weeks. But here is something very interesting that he said. In about the fourth week of exercise, his muscles started taking over. He was doing exercises he had not done for 20 years, but his body remembered them and just started telling him how many to do. Then, he said … his body started telling him some other things … like what food wanted and what food it did not want.
About seven weeks into his program, he bought a bag of sour cream and onion potato chips, one of his favorite junk foods. About a quarter of the way through the bag, he just stopped and twisted them away, because they had a real weird taste. He has not ateen any since.
What's going on here is not strange. Your body is like a computer and it keeps a record of everything you do. If you were once in very good shape, that memory is contained in the brain. In his case, his body is recalling the memory of what being in good shape involves and helping him to get there. Why? Because the body wants to function at an optimal level. If it can not, it will adapt. But it will also make you pay a price for that adaptation.
Pharmaceutical grade fish oil will also help you get in better shape, along with a better diet and exercise. They work hand in hand and the sum of the parts is greater than any one, individually. Yes, diet is good, exercise is good and fish oil is good. You'll get some results with each one, but you'll achieve much greater results, using all three at the same time:
You can build muscle at any age and the more, the better. If we had a rule that said everyone had to walk for 30 minutes every day, we could empty out 20% of the people now sitting in the doctor's office. That would reduce health care costs substantively, but we know that will not happen.