Easy Solutions For Five Problems That Plague Older Guys (But Never You)
Scientists had largely agreed that our memory starts slipping by age 60, but then some jerks at the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, in France, found that we may start declining around 45. (The French, always looking for another excuse to quit early.) The study's authors suggest an unexpected fix: cardio, for a healthy blood flow. If it's good for your heart, they say, it's good for your head.
As we age, our flexibility goes from Gumby to He-Man action figure—and all that tension lands hard on your knees (and other joints). Save yourself by staying loose. Every day, grab a foam roller—those long logs in a gym that look like American Gladiators weapons—and roll out every major body part for a minute each.
That Sinking Feeling
You'll lose about half an inch per decade, starting in your forties. "This is due to spinal-disk degeneration and bone weakening," says NYU spine doc Jeffrey Goldstein. It'll happen even faster for runners, heavy laborers, and others who stress their spines. You can slow the process down with low-impact exercise, along with regular calcium (a building block of bone) and vitamin D.
Most Viagra takers have two things in common: the world's last VHS porn collections and clogged arteries. That's because weak erections aren't usually a testosterone problem; they're a blood-flow problem. The easy way to healthy 80-year-old boners: thirty minutes a day of exercise.
Think about your daily movements, whether they're typing or wiping your ass: It's all about bending forward. "Life pushes you down literally and figuratively," says Adam Bornstein, co-author of Man 2.0: Engineering the Alpha. "Our job is to stand up tall and pull back." So every few hours at work, toss your hands behind your head and stretch for few minutes; you'll open your chest and bend yourself back upright.
*According to Lew Hollander, 84, the world's oldest Ironman competitor
"You get the first forty years free," Hollander says. "After that, you better damn well pay attention to what you're doing if you want to be functional at 80 or 90." These are his rules.
- Rest When You're Dead
"I don't care what exercise you do, but get your ass out and push to your anaerobic threshold every day," he says. "Most people these days live a sedentary life. They haven't gone anaerobic since they were 18 and chasing some girl."
- Drop Weight or Meet Fate
"There are no fat old people. Show me one. Show me a 90-year-old fat person. They don't exist! Who's 90 years old? The little old man—well, he's not fat, and that's how he got old."
- Screw Old Age
"You want a successful relationship. It prolongs your sexual activity, and this is extremely important: You get a piece of ass every night, and that's an incentive to make it through the next day. It's important to motivate males."
True fact: Men can grow ladylike breasts if their ratio of male hormones to estrogen is out of whack. This may be why the rate of guys following A-Rod into the testosterone lab has quadrupled since 2000. But before you fall in line, remember that a new study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (you read it, right?) determined that T-juicing is often not medically necessary. And its side effects—including acne and shrunken testicles—can just turn you into a different variety of unfortunate old man. Guys don't seem to realize that low testosterone is often best solved au naturel: Get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and blow off steam to fight stress. Make it a lifestyle. Then take your flat chest home and flaunt it for the blue-hairs.
Young guys are shortsighted athletes: It's all pecs and biceps. But without working your entire body and all those little muscles nobody sees on a beach, you'll create muscle imbalances and suffer injuries. Ryan Capretta, who trains the likes of Colin Kaepernick and DeMarcus Cousins, explains proper technique for three common weight-room routines to extend your athletic career.
Your body isn't some door hinge swinging back and forth. But we often treat it that way—push weight up, bring it down, repeat—which leads to overuse and a lifetime of joint pain. So when Capretta's athletes do dumbbell bench presses, they start with a set on their backs, then one at a small incline, then at a higher incline, and so on, until they're sitting up doing overhead presses like a boss.
Don't be fooled by the muscleheads: Power lifters often start their lift-and-grunt routine with their legs far apart to help them hoist more weight—but that grinds their knees, which they'll later regret. When you're lifting like a normal human (deadlifting or squatting with a barbell), start by standing properly: feet, knees, and hips lined up like a classroom skeleton's. Less joint stress means less pain.
"Look at people doing a seated pulldown at a gym," Capretta says. "If you stick your hand on their lower back, 80 percent of them are arching the crap out of it." (No need to get touchy—maybe just trust him on that.) The point is: When these writhers arch, they stop relying on their cores, and that puts dangerous stress on their backs and shoulders. No matter what you're lifting or pulling, keep your spine straight and let your abdominals do the work. No chest puffing. No arching. And definitely no touching strangers in the weight room.
If you work the hell out of your heart now, you won't need an oxygen tank later on. Rather than chaining yourself to the treadmill, embrace the kettlebell, the cartoonish anvil-like device that seems like it's about to squash Wile E. Coyote. "It's actually a better choice than running," says Alwyn Cosgrove, owner of Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California. "You can get the same heart-rate intensities as in running, but with a lot less reps and impact."
The Move: Kettlebell swings, as hard and consistently as you can. It's easy: Grab the bell with an overhand grip, keeping your knees slightly bent and your hips pushed back. Then pretend you're hiking a football, letting the bell pass between your legs. Now thrust your hips forward and stand up, swinging the bell up to eye level. As it comes down, bend those knees and bring your hips back again.
Your 20-Minute Routine: Cosgrove says to repeat this motion until you reach 85 percent of your max heart rate, though if you're bad at math (or at using heart monitors), just go until you're breathing hard, but not to the point where you're dizzy. Rest until your heart calms a bit, then go back to swingin'. Your goal: Do as many as you can until time is up.
source: gq.com By Jason Feifer