Enough Muscle to Retire?

When discussing retirement, we always ask ourselves, do I have enough money to retire? But, have you ever thought about whether you will be in good enough health to do the things you want to do in retirement? In a recent seminar, I learned some alarming statistics:

  • The average American begins losing lean muscle mass in their 20s.
  • Progressive loss of muscle begins around 40 years of age.
  • The rate of muscle loss averages 10% per decade to age 70, then accelerates to 15% per decade after.
  • Leg strength decreases 10-15% per decade to age 70, then accelerates to 25-40% per decade. (This is very serious since we all know a loved one who fell in their later years and cracked or fractured their hip, unfortunately, most are unable to truly recover after the fall).

What impact does lack of movement have on overall health and metabolism?

The following are examples of what happens when you sit for 1 hour, now think about how this may affect your body over long periods of inactivity.

  • Blood vessel dysfunction and increase in cholesterol causing increased insulin resistance.
  • Hormone dysfunction (decrease in HGH-Human Growth Hormone and IGF-1)
  • Inability to absorb protein (affects both bone and muscles)
  • Neurotransmitter dysfunction (Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases)

So what is the solution?

Keeping active throughout all stages of you life will help ensure that you are healthy come retirement age. Here are some simple exerciese you can do on a regular basis to keep you body in good health:

  • Lift 4x a week for 12 weeks with week 13 as "active" recovery.
  • To build lean body mass, recruit the maximum motor units by lifting heavy load or weights
  • Lift 75-85% of your 1 rep max.
  • 6-12 repetitions with strict form.
  • Utilize protein powders to ensure protein absorbs immediately after the lift.

Applying a proper strength training program will not only help your health immediately, it will ensure a happier, safer, and less difficult retirement versus the pain and mobility issues many Americans face during retirement.