(Breather) I keep the tape running as Dr. Ron and I continue to talk, going into a discussion about longevity, some concerns related to menopause, when heart disease risk increases, and related concerns for aging males.
Longevity promoting behaviors include keeping that visceral fat off the body, because it hampers hormonal function and can accelerate aging. Some great checkpoints to mitigate the effects of aging include keeping competency with squats, running the mile, and maintaining muscle reserves with regular resistance training. Also, monitor your blood values for triglycerides, glucose, HbA1c and inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein.
Surprisingly, women’s cardiovascular risk is lower before menopause – after menopause, their heart risk stats more closely resemble their male counterparts. Dr. Ron also warns us to watch out for the “skinny male” syndrome, when a thin man is actually at higher risk than his heavier wife, because more of the carbohydrates in the diet are going towards lipid production. As Dr. Ron explains, menopause can act as a sort of trigger – because pre menopause, women are fertile; a lot of the time, this means there’s more fat. This is not usually a problem especially during child-rearing years. Obviously, losing weight is a hot topic, and many women in the paleo community have asked for years why they can’t get rid of that last 10 pounds (something I expanded on in my article, How to Lose That Last 10 Pounds) but a lot of the time, it’s just because the female body needs that extra weight for hormonal reasons. But after menopause, Dr. Ron says the female body asks, “Why are we still eating this garbage?” because it’s aware that it doesn’t need to support a baby, and the excess fat is just that…excess.
As all of us get older, carrying a little extra weight has more serious ramifications – as Dr. Ron says, “With aging, you have to stay ahead of the insulin resistant race as far as possible.” This is why he advises patients to keep carbohydrates restrained, and stay on top of weight/resistance training for muscle preservation. “Muscle wasting with aging” is something Dr. Ron sees all the time with sedentary office workers, and adequate protein intake, along with weight training, are great ways to counteract this. Muscle mass preservation is particularly integral as you age because it helps you metabolize fuel, and the muscle cells themselves contain chemicals, that when released, can help with the aging process.
One of Dr. Ron’s most illuminating tests when checking his patients’ vital signs is, how are your squats going? Of course, he’ll check out the triglycerides, their stats, etc., but if his patients can’t do a few squats without getting out of breath, then he knows there’s an area that needs improving. We also discuss The Cooper Institute’s data about the mile run, and how one’s 1 mile run time at the age of 50 is strongly predictive of your changes of living to 80. Clearly, there’s so much you can do to increase your longevity and quality of life as you get older. And, sure, some of those things aren’t always fun or pleasurable – who out there actually likes doing squats? Not many people. Most people would prefer to be noshing on some French fries on the couch then to be sweating and squatting – but think about Longcuts, something I’ve discussed before (twice!). Nothing good in life ever comes easy, but thankfully, a healthy lifestyle is actually pretty easy once you commit to it. It’s just the mental part of it all that trips us up….so, get over yourself, and focus on enjoying the steps you take to increase your longevity and support your health.
Brad and Ron talk about aging gracefully. [03:39]
Why is menopause such a trigger for physiological changes? [05:22]
With aging, you have to stay ahead of the insulin resistant race. [07:15]
Squats and mile run abilities are a good indicator of longevity. [08:42]
Get Over Yourself Podcast
Brad: 00:00 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author and athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit, and happy in hectic, high-stress, modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balanced that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.
Brad: 02:10 [00:03:39] Okay. Honoring the mission of the get over yourself podcast to be real and authentic and talk about the stuff that we talk about after the record button is stopped. So we’re hanging around in the room asking them how basketball’s going with this kids. And I decided to push the record button again because we got into some interesting concepts about longevity and what happens after menopause and the different concerns you might have as opposed to menopausal female. And then for the males out there. What happens when we start to age and our testosterone starts to decline and we start to develop visceral fat around the digestive organs. So it’s how to age gracefully, avoid some of these downward spirals that happen even when we carry on business as usual with our dietary habits, they start to have a worse and worse impact as we age.
Brad: 04:34 Dr Ron Talks about the importance of weight training, strength training as you go through your advanced decades and how that’s such a big benefit to your metabolism. Things like squats. He asks his patients to perform a set of squats as a excellent marker for their longevity. I mentioned the Cooper Institute using the one mile run time as a longevity predictor, so nice little tidbits, especially if you’re getting into the advanced decades about how to do things right and preserve your health and enjoy your long happy life.
Brad: 05:10 Dr Ron breather show. Thank you.
Brad: 05:12 Thank you. But after, after menopause, Yo,
Brad: 05:17 after menopause, what happens?
Ron: 05:18 So after menopause, their cardiovascular risk starts to approach that of males and often their lipids, t
Brad: 05:22 Before menopause, they’re better off than the males?
Ron: 05:26 So before menopause, often though that you know, they might have the excess weight, but you won’t see the lipid abnormalities and increased cardiovascular risk. So that’s why that sort of same scenario, a couple that I talked about, even though yes, the spouse, you know, the wife might be heavier, um, it’s just skinny male that’s at more cardiovascular risk because more of the carbohydrates are going towards lipid production and we tend to see higher CRP elevations in many cases as well too.
Brad: 05:51 So those husbands that are bitching out, their wives saying, no, you’re getting fat. You better. Yeah, they better. They be a good comeback would be. Yeah. Well Watch out for your fat liver buddy.
Ron: 06:00 Yeah, exactly. Yeah. You’re the one on my drop dead from a heart attack. So yeah. And then after like a pause, you said something catches up. So after menopause, then you start to see the vascular or the metabolic abnormalities approach more of a male. So you might see the lipid abnormalities and their overall heart risk starts to merge more with males after menopause.
Brad: 06:18 Why is it, why is menopause the trigger?
Ron: 06:20 So, you know, it’s a good question. We can think about maybe some theoretical origins. So maybe during fertility or years before menopause, your body has more space or buffer because you’ve got to support pregnancy fertility. So having more fat doesn’t lead to the adverse metabolic effects basically. But after menopause, your body’s saying, you’re done having kids, so why are we still eating this garbage? Right?
Brad: 06:41 So, okay, so duly warned. Yeah, Dude. So I mean, after menopause or I mean for the, for the male, as, as the advancing years and our testosterone numbers declined by 10% and our strength and our power output and all those measurable things, um, what can we do to right the ship? I, I know, um, Maffetone says you should consume, uh, less carbs over the passing decades of your life because you become more insulin resistant just due to passage of time. Anything along those lines? Because I’m, yeah,
Ron: 07:15 I’m definitely in the later
Brad: 07:16 Welcome to the old people outtake podcasts.
Ron: 07:18 Yeah man. I mean we, we definitely do see the A1C start to creep up the glucose numbers. So I think with aging you have to stay ahead of the insulin resistant race as far as possible. So, so keeping carbohydrates restrained makes a lot of sense to me. Um, and then just making sure you are staying up on the, the weight training, the resistance training so we can protect those muscle reserves. Again, coming back to my patients that have the, the, the, the, the skinny fat habitus and they’re lacking the, the muscle reserves and they’re spending so much time just sitting all day, right? So they’re already way behind. I mean, Sarcopenia, this entity of muscle wasting with aging. Um, we’re seeing that much earlier in sedentary office workers, right?. So you got to stay ahead of the game. So you’ve got to make sure you’re getting adequate weight training along with adequate protein intake as well in the Diet.
Brad: 08:02 What’s so good about the weight training and maintaining muscle mass?
Ron: 08:05 Yeah, I’m in the muscle mass basically. Will help us, men metabolize fuel. Um, you know, the muscle cells themselves also have, um, you know, chemicals that are released in hormones that can help ’em with the antiaging process. So there’s just a lot of good things happen when you can retain muscle mass from a metabolic and a lifestyle perspective.
Brad: 08:22 And this is something that takes so little time. Oh, it’s almost, there’s almost no excuse not to go hoist a little bit of weight. And when I say weight, I’m not talking about loading your back with a squat bar, but using the resistance tubes or anything.
Ron: 08:36 Right.
Brad: 08:36 That’s comfortable at body weight exercises, all that stuff counts.
Ron: 08:40 Yep. Absolutely.
Brad: 08:40 Just maintaining muscle mass.
Ron: 08:42 I mean it’s interesting. A lot of these patients, what I do is I might give them an app where I teach them how to do a very simple squat and one of their vital signs is, let’s see how many squats you can do right now without getting too out of breath or tired. And often for these guys, it’s like eight or 10.
Brad: 08:56 Four!
Brad: 08:56 Yeah, exactly right.
Brad: 08:57 Not so good that time
Ron: 08:59 That’s not good. And then we teach them basically how to do this properly and in their two or three month followup, in addition to looking at their triglycerides in other numbers, I’m like, how are the squats going?
Brad: 09:09 I told wait, there’s no fake in that. Yeah, they’re going fine. Dr Ron. They’re going great. I love ’em. It feels really good. Yeah. Okay. Well let’s go. I did a thousand days so I can’t do it in the office.
Ron: 09:18 Right. So rate come back.
Brad: 09:20 Oh my gosh. You know, the Cooper Institute has this, uh, data put out about the mile run. Yeah. Yeah. And so your ones mile time at age 50 is strongly predictive of your chances of living to 80 healthily.
Brad: 09:33 Pretty awesome. Yeah.
Ron: 09:34 I think that’s what led to a lot insurance companies use a mile run for their insurance guys do I think? Yeah. I don’t know if they still do, but I remember they’d always referenced a Cooper study is one of the, yeah.
Brad: 09:43 How are they going time you then do insurance? I mean, if they’re putting it on that there is a metric.
Ron: 09:48 Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Brad: 09:49 I went through this long, like a phone application process for the healthy life insurance. I’m self employed, I buy my own life insurance. I’m like, Oh cool, I’ll get a massive discount. And they’re asking me all the questions and stuff. Uh, but it seems like if the life insurance companies were really smart, they’d go out and do a performance these people and then you know, I’ll charge you 50 bucks because it’s still, you know, still gonna pay off. Right. For them. Yeah, absolutely. No, that makes sense. Alright, Gotcha. Alright, yeah,
Brad: 10:20 Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your firstname.lastname@example.org and we would also love if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. I know it’s a hassle. You have to go to desktop, iTunes, click on the tab that says ratings and reviews, and then click to rate the show anywhere from five to five stars. And it really helps spread the word so more people can find the show and get over themselves because they need to. Thanks for doing it.