Posts Tagged ‘aging’

Eat more protein after age 40, stretch the muscle after each exercise

August 12, 2014

Two fascinating things that I’ve recently learned:

1. As we all know, protein is used by the body to repair and rebuild. When we are under 40 years old the body is very efficient at utilizing the protein that we consume. So 20 grams of protein per meal is sufficient (more than 20 grams and it is wasted). However, when we get over 40 years of age, the body is less efficient at utilizing the protein. So to obtain the same benefit that the 20 grams of protein gave us when we were younger, we must consume more protein at each meal. How much? At least 40 grams per meal.

2. The body is covered (obviously) with skin. Under the skin is something called fascia. The fascia holds everything together. The fascia can limit muscle growth because it tightly holds the muscles in. So if we want the muscles to grow bigger (hypertrophy), we need to get the fascia to free up and allow the muscle to expand. How to do that? Stretch! After each exercise stretch the muscle. Without stretching the muscle may be unable to expand and get bigger.

Feel the wind on your skin

April 12, 2014

Here is a wonderful story that I recently read:

As a young man my father raced bicycles. He was a very good amateur racer who won 100-mile road races. He met my mother then, and because she couldn’t stand to see the inevitable crashes and injuries, he did not pursue a professional career but instead became a journeyman carpenter.

The bike was put aside as the country became involved in World War II. Because of his carpentry skill, Dad was put to work building barracks, finally becoming a crew chief working in Yakima, Washington, on the building in which the atomic bomb was created.

Fast-forward 40 years to when Dad was in his late 60s and he began to race again in age-group races, much to my mother’s consternation.

This long preamble leads to a conversation I had with my Dad when he was about 80. He had a summer home at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and on most weekends he would ride around the lake, a hilly 30-plus miles. One day, as he pedaled up to me at the end of a ride, he was drenched in sweat. It was 90-plus degrees and humid. I asked him how he felt after that long ride. All he could talk about was how the wind felt on his sweat-drenched body and how most people did not understand the deep pleasure and satisfaction that wind against the body gave. His contemporaries, of course, many of whom could barely walk, all thought he was crazy.

They would ask him why anyone would subject himself to what they saw as torture. He thought the answer was very simple—the only way to experience the wind was to ride. Wanting that feeling was the reason he rode. He never rode “for exercise”; he rode for pleasure. He rode to feel the wind on his skin.