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By now you might be thinking, "Well, I may be a slathering, infertile idiot with the face of a troll by the time I'm 30, but at least I'll be able to lift myself off the couch."
"And then immediately crawl beneath a bridge."
Don't count on it. Age-related sarcopenia (aka, your muscles falling into a deep depression and passing out on the couch in front of the TV, waiting for you to die) can start in your 30s, or even earlier. You're not likely to collapse into a fleshy bag of fat and hair on the eve of your 30th birthday, but you will have to work harder and longer to build muscle than you did in the past. Where once a couple lazy laps around your college track would get your quads and glutes all firm and ripply, eventually you'll have to start running 5Ks a couple of times a week just to avoid traumatizing the dog with your unsightly amount of jiggle as you race to open the door for the food-delivery person.
But who needs muscles, anyway? You're not making your livelihood by lifting concrete blocks or busting through brick walls, so flabby arms and less-than-firm abs aren't exactly going to be the death of you.
Just another day at the office for Bricksmash McPunchalot Johnson.
Not so fast. Sarcopenia doesn't discriminate when it comes to muscle -- it's the great equalizer on your body's slow march to the grave. Everything from blinking to breathing to going a whole day without crapping your pants is controlled by those useful little bundles of protein filament. In other words, better start Kegeling your heart out now, because pretty soon the dam will be ready to burst, and you're going to need all the sphincter strength you can muster.
Emma Larkins stays young by living in a magical make-believe world where people can fly. Check out her first science-fiction novel, Mechalarum, and follow her on Twitter as she attempts to keep a small segment of society moderately entertained.
For more from Emma on Cracked, check out 5 Movie Romances That Won't Last (According to Science) and 6 Reasons NYC Is the Most Overrated Vacation Destination.
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