Live Long & Live Strong

Live Long & Live Strong

by Bill Hartman, PT, CSCS, ART, "Your Golf Fitness Coach"

I have a very distinct memory from my childhood. I was four years old and waiting impatiently for my afternoon cartoons to start. Mom was watching the end of Days of Our Lives, and I had my hand on the dial ready to change the channel as soon as the hourglass appeared at the end of the show. Before the first grain of sand fell, I started spinning the dial hoping to catch the opening sequence of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

I didn't watch cartoons that day. About halfway to the cartoon station, I came across a young, energetic guy in a tailored jumpsuit with muscular arms and wide shoulders that tapered down to his tiny waist. I thought he was a superhero. He was Jack La Lanne. I think my fitness career started that day.

Today as I write this, I am 37 years old. That means when I first saw "young" Jack on TV, he was 56 years old. Today, at age 88, Jack La Lanne still wears the same tailored jumpsuit and still has wide shoulders that taper down to a tiny waist. He still exercises intensely every day, and he still lives out his dreams and pursues his passions with the same energy and enthusiasm as he did when he was my age.

How can this be? Jack La Lanne understands the secret of strength. He understands that functional age is important, not chronological age.

Sure, you can talk about the importance of aerobic fitness, but let me tell you this . . . it has importance, but it is not critical. Strength is critical! You can't walk on the beach, climb a hill, or carry a grandchild if you can't get out of your chair in the first place.

Starting at age 30, if you are not a regular strength trainer, you will lose 6"10 percent of your strength each decade. Without strength training, you will lose as much as 12 percent of your muscle mass by age 65 and another 5 percent by age 75.

Strength training is the difference between living your dreams and watching them pass you by. If you aren't involved in a strength training program, it's never too late to start. And if you need more information, contact Bill Hartman, "Your Golf Fitness Coach," by clicking here.