I listened to a great podcast today, Fitness Rocks, by Dr. Monte Ladner, who is a retired physician like myself. He didn’t get out for health reasons like I did, but more from a case of “burnout,” and a desire to help people with health and fitness information rather than fostering reliance on medication to put a “band aid” on chronic problems resulting from poor diet and sedentary living.
I discovered this podcast about a month ago, and am ravenously listening to all of his shows, from beginning to end. Today, I listened to one about the benefits of weight training, and how, according to one study, lifting weights regularly can actually act at a genetic level to cause skeletal muscle from older people (>60) to behave like “young” muscle. Now THAT is cool!
I have been a weight lifter for almost 30 years now. I didn’t consciously do it, and still don’t, to alter genetic expression in my skeletal muscle. I do it because I like to feel strong, and because I know that this is one area where Cystic Fibrosis has NO say in what I can do. The sense of control and self-confidence I get from keeping my “shell” strong goes a long way to making up for the lack of control I feel about my next sputum culture, or the inevitable decline in lung function that I see over the years.
Now, I realize that I’ve been altering gene expression all these years! What a rush.
Besides the rush, here is why you should lift weights regularly if you have CF, or pretty much any other chronic disease:
You will inhibit significantly the inevitable loss of muscle mass that occurs with aging.
You will increase you basal metabolic rate
You will improve you body composition
You may improve your insulin sensitivity ( not clear with CFRD because it hasn’t been studied, but very clear with standard, run-of-the-mill Type II DM, and glucose intolerance)
You will be stronger, and more able to to the basic activities of daily life with ease
You will improve self confidence, decrease anxiety and depression
You will reduce your risk of premature death from all causes
You will improve your quality of life
Not sure how to add an exercise program including weight lifting to your regimen? Drop me a line.