Is it harder to keep fit as you get older?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 2:13 PM GMT
    There's A LOT of very fit older guys on this site.

    My question is, is it harder work to stay in shape when you get older?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 2:48 PM GMT
    YES!
    Every year I find it's getting more difficult to keep lean and fit...so far, my body seems to be holding up well, but I keep waiting and looking for the visible signs.....I see it in my hands and face mainly....I look down @ my legs sometimes and think..."Oh my God...I have my Dad's legs!"

    I'm sure I will get to a point where I will no longer feel comfortable not wearing a shirt in public....I'm sad to admit, yes, I am that vain.

    I'm just gonna keep doing what I do...I just have to work harder at it...and not expect the same results...I will eventually come to terms with knowing good health isn't necessarily about physical beauty and more about how to live a long, healthy and comfortable life.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 3:01 PM GMT
    Sure. After years and years of working out 5X week, it is getting harder to stay motivated. Burnout finally?icon_sad.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 3:15 PM GMT
    I think that the difference is that it is harder to 'look fit' as you get older. I don't think it is harder to 'stay fit.'

    The big difference though in staying fit as you get older, is that your life has both different priorities as well as a different perspective in developing those priorities that's based on many more life experiences - both good and bad.

    With age, comes as many gains as losses.

    A simple example comes immediately to mind. At my age, I have more patience for those things that require it (if it should take a month, I can wait a month), and less for those those that do not (if it should take a month, I'll not wait a year wasting my life in the fantasy that something's going to happen.)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 3:42 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]smalltownboy said[/cite]YES!
    Every year I find it's getting more difficult to keep lean and fit...so far, my body seems to be holding up well, but I keep waiting and looking for the visible signs.....I see it in my hands and face mainly....I look down @ my legs sometimes and think..."Oh my God...I have my Dad's legs!"


    i wish i had your dad's legs! icon_lol.gif


    going to the gym is easy for me, but change is slow which can be very frustrating.

  • tailgaytor

    Posts: 41

    Nov 11, 2008 3:43 PM GMT
    Staying in shape and motivated can be a problem at any age. Making gains is a bit more difficult as you get older, especially if you started at a later age. That fat just doesn't seem to want to go away.

    Of course, I just look at the benefits of exercise, and I am satisfied. I am much healthier than others my age and less susceptable the common bugs that go around each winter. I don't have the conditions that go along with excess weight, nor do I have the typical aches and pains. In these respects I am very satisfied with the results.
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Nov 11, 2008 3:56 PM GMT
    Tell me about it. During my twenties I can get fat and lose it in a matter of weeks. Nowaday in my forties, thing are different. Our body are not as efficient at burning calories as before, there's more work and commitment, time are limited . I really admire guys that are my ages and older that manage to look good . They are an inspiration.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 4:10 PM GMT
    tailgaytor said That fat just doesn't seem to want to go away.
    I am much healthier than others my age and less susceptable the common bugs that go around each winter. I don't have the conditions that go along with excess weight, nor do I have the typical aches and pains.

    Absolutely correct! Being over 50 it's taken me a year to lose 30 pounds and I still can't seem to get that flat stomach (partly just not doing things right I'm sure) but the whole body is different. It is harder to get where you want to be but I think maintaining it is almost as easy (still takes work), but what I like is seeing how I look over 50 with other guys my age or younger. I find it's a boost to my self esteem , now is that big headed or what? LOL
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 4:35 PM GMT
    Jockhots saidMy question is, is it harder work to stay in shape when you get older?


    YES! I'm 59, and my body isn't the same as it was 20 years ago. Certain physiological changes can't be stopped, like when I had to start wearing bifocals at age 43.

    Right now I'm dealing with a drop in testosterone that's fairly common for my age, and undergoing replacement therapy. But even then my muscles will never be what they were when I was young.

    My whole metabolism has slowed down, so that I put on weight more easily, and lose it with greater difficulty. Until I was about 40 I could eat like a horse and never gain any weight. Now one cracker too many puts on pounds.

    Plus in my case, my physical disabilities limit my activity level. I have to work through a lot of pain to do any meaningful exercise, and my limited range of motion also restricts what I can do. Right now the best thing for me is swimming and biking.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 4:36 PM GMT
    Things change, your body rebels a little or gets injured.

    It used to be when I wanted to trim a half inch or two from my waist or drop 5 or 10 pounds, I could get out and run half an hour a day and achieve that in a couple of weeks. After simple knee surgery, I don't run any longer, and even before that I knew I had to cut back. And a little break of the fifth metatarsal in my left foot led to a string of other minor injuries ... as the saying goes, "feet, don't fail me now!"

    But those are excuses, because there is always an alternative route. Bike, swim, etc.

    Part of it is the time element, as bgcat gets into. In my 20s and thirties I could undo 6 months of semi-neglect in a couple of weeks. Now a couple of weeks of semi-neglect takes 6 months to rectify.

    tailgaytor is absoultely right, though: as you get older staying fit becomes very much about staying healthy. You learn that regular exercise means you sleep better (an issue for many as they get older), digest better, have more energy and, hence, more fun and interest in life.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 5:21 PM GMT
    I think motivation to work out gets harder as you get older.
    You gotta dig deep to find that spirit. There's LOTS of older guys
    here on RJ who look AMAZING !. IMHO they're truly inspirational !
    It also gets harder to recover if you injure yourself. I'm sitting here
    with a shoulder injury. It's taking what seems like forever to heal !
    Not going to the gym is driving me CRAZY ! Working out keeps
    me centered. I really enjoy it !


  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 5:21 PM GMT
    Its not more difficult to stay fit when you get older but your body needs the constant...suggestion ... stimulation... exercise to do so. When you are younger your body is not on that preprogrammmed death march.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Nov 11, 2008 5:40 PM GMT
    If you define "42" as older, I'll be that old in a week. And I'm pretty sure I'm more muscular now than ever. And that's after taking three years off from the gym. I am using the same routines now that I was before I stopped, and in two years I've moved, for the most part, farther than I managed in the months before I moved to NY and stopped working out.

    In fact, I'm happily surprised to have gotten where I am with my 3x a week workout. So, no, I don't feel like it's been harder. It's all about consistency for me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 5:51 PM GMT
    Jockhots saidThere's A LOT of very fit older guys on this site.

    My question is, is it harder work to stay in shape when you get older?


    No. Or, perhaps I need clarification here.

    I am basically a runner/weight trainer combined. For the same amount of effort, the returns on the running investment in terms of times is much more difficult...and, ultimately, impossible. However, not so in terms of age-graded running.

    In terms of weight training, I am more fit than I have ever been in my life, and I don't believe that I am putting more time in it than others.

    Finally, the weight issue is so easy to deal with. First, dispense with myths. There is nothing in the literature that says that aging means you MUST get more body fat relative to your muscle mass.

    It's so damn simple, it is ridiculous. (Calories In) - (Calories Out) = Weight Change.

    Currently, I have 10% body fat or so. And I am so ancient compared to you younger guys. And I am neither starving myself nor using supplements.

    John
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 5:55 PM GMT
    "If you define "42" as older, I'll be that old in a week. And I'm pretty sure I'm more muscular now than ever."


    And I can tell you, the best shape of my life was probably at around 47. A regular yoga practice had finally made the other "work" pay off in a way that was right for my body.

    Then the little injuries, some emotional crises, etc = but I think I can get there again - maybe not to my 47 yr old body (more muscle than at 27, when I was skinny), but maybe better.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 6:25 PM GMT
    alpha and fastprof say it well. If one becomes complacent or downright lazy expect the changes that you don't want to happen-will happen. I marvel at the beauty of youth but also at the beauty of a fit older guy-that is sexy.

    diet determines the outcome. would you put oil in your gas tank (disclaimer to those currently running their vehicles on grease from the kitchens) lol
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 6:44 PM GMT
    I'm 35 and I'd say yes it is more difficult. I sure as hell don't have the abs I did when I was 23 and hit the ice every day. And it is a little more difficult to keep what I have, or maybe it just feels that way. I more easily injure myself and it takes longer to recover than 10 years ago.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 6:56 PM GMT
    43 here and it is certainly more difficult than when I was in my 20s. Back then, when I wanted to, I could drop weight pretty easy and put on muscle pretty easy.

    I can still do it, but it requires a lot more dedication now and it is harder to get up the motivation for it.

    That said, I may be in the best shape of my life (so far) right now and a lot of that is a combination of having specific goals (important, at least for me) and of doing a lot of research to learn the right way to lose fat (without losing muscle), the right way to add muscle and the right way to eat. In my 20s, I just had to vaguely do things and it worked. Now, without the benefit of "doing it right", I think I'd still be much further away from my goals as you are fighting the aging body.

    It's also worth checking things like your testosterone levels -- I'm fortunate in that mine are still pretty high and comparable to my early 30s, but most guys are heading downward by mid-40s and if they are low, it's going to be very difficult to put on muscle and keep it.

    Finally, as pointed out, injuries are a little easier to happen and can take a lot longer to heal. My knees are usually a touch sore now all the time (early arthritis) and my shoulders seem to always on the edge of getting damaged (I have to be VERY careful doing chest work). I hurt my shoulders in 2006 and it took like 3 months to get them back to where I could resume chest work again. In my 20s, on the rare occasion I hurt something, it never seemed like more than a week or two and I was back working again.

    So, yes, more of a challenge, but certainly doable and plenty of reward there (mentally, health wise, etc).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 6:59 PM GMT
    In some ways I find it easier because I am more motivated. I also wake up a lot earlier in the morning than I used to, so it is easy to workout before work now.

    My metabolism is slower so I gain weight faster than I used to unless I watch my caloric intake and workout at least 5 times a week.

    Another issue about getting older is the possibility of injuries. I tore my hamstring muscle playing softball in 2007, the only time I have experienced a limiting injury in my life. It was a warning that I am getting older and need to spend more time stretching before exercising.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 7:48 PM GMT
    Long ago I realized that past 40, no matter how old you are, it will probably seem young to you looking back ten years later ... so enjoy it and do your best. You're as young as you'll ever be (even if your fittest days are ahead of you!)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 11, 2008 8:15 PM GMT
    Yes, and no.

    As you age your hormone levels change (testosterone lowers, estrogen increases, cortisol levels change, GH changes, T3/T4 sometimes changes), your body functions diminish in some areas (memory and speed of thought), and get better in others (critical thinking).

    Hormone levels are easy to fix. See a doctor or visit the black market. There's no reason to feel bad. There's no reason to take a handful of statin drugs, ACE inhibs, beta blockers, nor any other junk just because you're a lazy ass.

    You are able to train smarter as you get older (i.e., not over-train, eat better, have more discipline, have more money, be more effective in your training methods).

    However....the number 1 killer, and by far the most important, is being to fat. Being to fat is a prescription for a long list of problems. Fat and weight are not the same (I have a BMI of 30). Do not smoke. Period.

    Be active every day. Laugh every day. Come to like yourself, even when dealing with hateful people.

    With hormonal manipulation, diet, and exercise, you can be vibrant well into middle age, and beyond. The secret is to begin early and to be consistent.

    We are what we eat.

    Our body is MEANT to be in shape and to be under load. It thrives in that environment. Our mind is meant to be used. Our mind and body do not, and should not, be poisoned by fat, alcohol and tobacco.

    Fat kills.

    Just do it.
  • olden

    Posts: 194

    Nov 11, 2008 8:26 PM GMT
    The big thing to remember is that, as you age, it is harder to get back in shape than to stay in shape. So keep up the exercise and don't let yourself go. It has taken me two years to get (most of the way) back from sloppy fat. I know I will never have the body I had when I was 20 or even 40, but I have a better body now than I had when I was 50.

    Motivation is not a problem with me. There are four requirements for my life: Air, Food, Water and Exercise. I get my share of each one every day.
  • josephmovie

    Posts: 533

    Nov 11, 2008 8:56 PM GMT
    Like most people, I find it harder to lose weight than when I was younger, but not impossible. The one thing I notice is the quality of my skin isn't what it used to be. Just seems not as firm. You also have to accept that the elongated lean torso and broad shouldered thing (think A&F style) is no longer achievable for most guys. Your body just isn't like that anymore, even if you are very thin. You will most likely have a naturally more thick-set shape.

    But having said that I have actually found it easier to put on muscle. Maybe I was just doing the wrong routines for years on end! I also enjoy being in shape when so many men my age are not, and am more patient with my progress.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Nov 11, 2008 9:36 PM GMT
    The answer is .... Yes

    That doesn't mean that you don't go at it that much harder
  • Musclebucket

    Posts: 157

    Nov 11, 2008 10:21 PM GMT
    No