Posted On April 29, 2024

Health Span and Weight Training

This past week an article in the New Yorker noted that while Americans seem to be living longer, the years beyond 65 are often ones of very poor health. The health span of the US population has not increased much while people stay alive longer than 50 years ago.

As I turn 84 in a few months Im constantly struck by the huge advantage that I have experienced because of my lifelong practice of weight training.

Although I am an individual case, I have noted that friends who have consistently lifted weights have tended to both live a long time but stay physically viable and robust.



The year I was born (1940) life expectancy for men in the US was about 60 years. At the time of the French Revolution (1789) life expectancy in France for men was roughly 25 years and for women 23 years.

In France at the time most women died in childbirth and infant mortality was near 50%. Men tended to die from infections that came from being injured during physical labor.

These days we dont die of infections at an early age, childbirth is relatively safe and some of the main causes of mortality such as heart disease are more under control than in times long past.

What has not happened is a wide adoption of healthy habits and behaviors.

What has occurred instead is a proliferation of medical technologies that monitor often useless information, give advice, and seek to create treatments that can be applied without the recipient putting forth any effort.


Why Weights?

Maintaining a solid muscle mass is essential to keep your bodys hormones balanced and functional. Muscle mass is also critical in preventing what is known as sick aging syndrome. This includes degenerative conditions such as diabetes.

Muscle mass is also a key element in preventing significant injury from falls or accidents. I discovered this the hard way falling on the ice last January and dislocating my shoulder.

Had I not been in good condition I suspect the injury would have been much more serious. Instead of going through a relatively quick rehabilitation, I could well have been hospitalized or confined to a wheelchair.

It is worth emphasizing that weight training prevents osteoporosis.

The list of benefits is much longer, but you get the idea.

By being strong and having decent muscle mass one can prevent experiencing the degenerative effects that make life crappy.

However.the big IF. Lifting weights takes effort.

The actual number of people who lift weights for fitness must be around 3-4% of the population.

Most want to be saved by a technological solution that will require little or no effort.


Wait Until You See the Latest High Tech Goodies

In the same week two front page articles in the Wall Street Journal showed how Americas technology prowess is being manifest.

The first article discussed the near complete failure of US made drones being used by the Ukrainians in their war with Russia.

However, the second article showed that there is no need to worry about the US being at the forefront of technology leadership.

Future bathroom fixtures will be tech-driven powered by Artificial Intelligence that will give you instant feedback on all kinds of things you may not have worried about before.

An AI driven toilet will be able to analyze stool and urine instantly and then give you advice.

I presume you will be able to select the voice your toilet will use when speaking to you the way we can now select voices for Siri. I think Ill not use the English Woman voice for my toilet.

In addition to the throne, your bathroom mirror will also be able to see you, assess your health situation and give you advice. (Gee Rick, you look like sh*t today).

Somehow your doctor will get the info collected by your toilet and mirror to make decisions about your health..A doctor image will pop up on your mirror with guidance on what you must do next.

Im sure you can hardly wait.

Lift Big!


Written by Richard

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