Escape to Victory: Sylvester Stallone stars in 1981 trailer
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Throughout his career, Stallone has trained immensely to achieve the “action star” image, no matter what the cost. Whilst filming for the Rocky films, the star revealed that his diet and exercise routine was so intense that he repeatedly suffered from lightheadedness, lacked physical and mental energy and dropped to a “dangerous” 2.9 percent body fat. This routine aimed to build as much muscle mass as possible, in order to look like the Disney character “Tarzan”. After Rocky, Stallone’s exercise routine didn’t stop, with the star taking part in a four-week training camp that included working out twice a day six days per week in the build up to 2009 film The Expendables. Despite getting older, Stallone still regularly hits the gym, passing on his wisdom about how individuals can stay healthier for longer.
Back in June 2021, at the age of 74, a video was taken during Stallone’s training session with personal trainer and strength coach Gunnar Peterson.
Although visually in discomfort, the star rose to his feet whilst gripping two weights, captioning the video: “Good ‘heavy’ morning! Punching hard til the final bell…”
This video of his workout is one of many Stallone shares to his social media pages, with his 14.6 million Instagram followers receiving almost daily advice, tips and updates on the star’s life and health.
In May 2021, Stallone posted a video where he promoted the message “health is wealth,” before going on to motivate individuals to regularly work out.
He said: “I know it has been said before that health is wealth, well damn it is true because without it you don’t feel good about yourself.
“If you don’t feel good about taking on challenges, if you just don’t feel good inside it’s not worth it, life is a burden and it becomes miserable.
“So do I like going to the gym? Sometimes hell no! But you say okay I can dedicate 90 minutes to doing something that I know will pay dividends in the end.
“If you are feeling lazy like I am right now, just get mad at yourself, say you’re going to go to the gym or I am going to punch you right in the mouth. Health is wealth.”
Keeping fit is especially important for Stallone, as years of doing his own stunts and various injuries has caused pain in his lower back and joints.
When asked what the worst thing about getting older is, he said: “I think it’s the lower back. I know you were expecting something great and more philosophical… I won’t even go any lower, like to the knees. I’ll leave it at the lower back.”
Although Stallone’s fitness regime is beyond that of ordinary 75-year-olds, the NHS stresses that physical activity and exercise can help you stay healthy, energetic and independent as you get older.
The medical body explains that many adults aged 65 and over are paying the price for spending 10 hours or more each day sitting or lying down.
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Due to their inactivity there are higher rates of falls, obesity, heart disease and early death compared with the general population.
Evidence has suggested that in order to stay pain-free, reduce your risk of mental illness and remain independent well into your old age relies partially on individuals remaining active. The NHS explains that there is also a lower risk of developing the following:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Some cancers
Adults aged 65 or over should aim to be physically active every day, even if this is just light activity. The NHS recommends doing at least two activities a week that improve strength, balance and flexibility.
Also aiming for 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity or a combination of both depending on how active you already currently are.
Examples of moderate intensity activities include:
- Walking for health
- Water aerobics
- Riding a bike
- Dance for fitness
- Doubles tennis
- Pushing a lawn mower
And examples of vigorous activities include:
- Running for beginners
- Swimming for fitness
- Riding a bike fast or on hills
- Singles tennis
- Hiking uphill
- Dance for fitness
- Martial arts.
Adapting your diet as you age is also important. Nutritionist Jo Lewin explains that due to various physiological changes when you are 60 and over, the body becomes less efficient at absorbing and using many vitamins and minerals. Therefore eating foods high in vitamins and minerals becomes even more important.
Lewin adds that as we age, levels of stomach acid fall, and as a result the absorption of iron, calcium and the vitamins B6, B12 and folate are reduced. As a result symptoms of fatigue, weakness and impaired concentration may ensue. Therefore, eating foods such as eggs, oily fish, oats, fruits and vegetables and fortified breakfast cereals will help to make sure you are getting the right vitamins and minerals.
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