Two Important Pictures Upon Which To Meditate As You Age, Use It Or Lose It


Hi folk! Thanks for stopping by!

Photo of FitOldDog with River and Xan, as they explore candy Lego.

River and Xan explain some important things to FitOldDog, as we explore one of Xan’s presents, candy Lego. Would you believe it, and you can actually build edible structures with it. Remember to stop what you are doing and listen – glad I did.

There are many ways to stay young at heart, and not so old in body as you might be if you neglect yourself. For instance, I find that talking, no, listening, to children keeps me balanced. I was enjoying a nice cup of coffee the other day, and reading a book, when two kids that I know well (and love to death), started climbing on me, both talking at the same time. My first reaction, and that of their Mom, Meg, was to ask them to be quiet and leave me to read in peace. I’m glad they ignored us both, as River climbed on the chair and sat next to me, while Xan pummeled my brain with a series of questions and his personal insights on life. I wisely put down my book, and enjoyed a great 15 minutes or so, during which time I learned that, yes, they actually make Legos out of candy (tasty candy, too). I had finally learned to stop and listen to the wisdom of children. Took me a while to get there! Awareness is the key!

MRI images of thigh region to show effect of exercise on muscle mass.

MRI images of thigh region to show effect of exercise on muscle mass. These images say it all when it comes to the benefits of exercise as you age.

This event reminds me of the image to the right of this text. An important image. An insightful image, that I have posted previously, but will now do so again. This image is increasingly important as you age. The problem (loss of muscle mass due to inactivity) probably starts in your 40s, but continues inexorably if you don’t workout. Just look at the remarkable picture to the right. Taken with the magic of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), in three older living subjects, showing a slice through the mid-thigh region. The grey material is muscle, the white is largely fat (labeled adipose tissue). The white circle in the center is bone, the femur. You can see the thin layer of fat under the skin to keep us warm. Then note the massive replacement of muscle by fat in the sedentary older person (central image). This loss of muscle is not evident from the outside, visually, but it sure would be obvious functionally. Just imagine the struggles these wasted muscles would have following my instructions on getting out of a chair safely. This isn’t due to aging; it is a direct result of inactivity. Just look at the leg of the active 70-year old, a triathlete the same age as myself. At the age of 70 he has the muscles of a 40-year old athlete. [My sister just pointed out the fact that even the bone is less robust in the inactive person – thanks, Marian]. Use it or lose it! Once again, awareness is key!

Don’t get old before your time. Undertake a gentle program of safe exercise for better health. You don’t have to be an Ironman to reap most of the benefits.

OK! What are you going to do about it? Whatever it is, do it wisely and with awareness, because you’re not a kid anymore, but you can still play with the kids with a little effort.

-k @FitOldDog



  1. Even the bone is smaller.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.