The Muscle, Sport and Longevity
Christophe De Jaeger is a geriatrician and gerontologist. A pioneer in the battle against ageing, he is the founder and president of the European Institute on Ageing, of the French Society for Medicine and the Physiology of Longevity and of the European Medical Centre for Health and Longevity.
“Do not neglect your muscles, keep up your muscular strength to preserve and maintain your health resources and the proper working of your brain,” writes Dr Christophe De Jaeger. This message is particularly apt in France where “muscle” and “brain or intelligence” have often been regarded as conflicting — an absurd received idea that contends that intellectuals do not practise sports and muscle-builders are brainless.
The muscular system contributes greatly to physiological equilibrium, and therefore to health, particularly in regulating the balance between lipoproteins and sugar. Thus the muscular system plays a key role in longevity, particularly if certain recommended sports are practised. By using our muscles sensibly (but not excessively) we can help preserve our health resources over the long term.
It is time we began considering the muscular system as a protective factor to guard against disease, and we must learn to exercise our muscles in the way that is best in terms of our personal profile. We need to train and maintain our muscles to get the most out of them.