How Arnold Schwarzenegger has had to adapt diet, exercise as he ages

Now 74, the former body builder, action star and governor of California has had to make changes

“Old age sucks,” Arnold Schwarzenegger told the Hollywood Reporter in 2019. “Maybe I feel like that more than anyone else because I was Mr. Universe, Mr. Olympia and at any given time could bench-press 500 pounds or do squats with 500 pounds and lift 700. And then all of a sudden you see your body no longer in shape, even though you may be in better shape than anyone else at 71.”

When the public saw him in only a Speedo, Schwarzenegger was in his 20s and could eat anything he wanted. Although he conquered the worlds of body building, acting and politics during the past 50 years, he can’t beat time. Now, at 74, he has had to alter not only his diet but also his exercise routine.

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“Physically, you just have to accept reality and do the best you can,” he told a fan who asked him how getting older has affected him. “It is always difficult to accept that you aren’t where you once were. ... More than 2,000,000 Americans over 65 suffer from depression. I think a lot of that comes from hormonal changes that cause us to lose muscle over time. The global anti-aging market is worth 58 billion dollars. That is a lot of people trying to hold on to their youth.”

The former governor of California stressed the importance of changing up your routine as you age in order to prevent injury.

“I’ve chosen to adapt to my age, make my workouts a little bit different and focused on staying lean, and avoiding injury,” he said. “This is why I’ve moved away from free weights and stick to the workout machines.” According to Men’s Health, Schwarzenegger made this transition in 2012.

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The self-described “garbage disposal” told Men’s Health in 2019 he’s also had to change his diet. In his early years he ate a lot of meat as his protein source. That changed to homemade drinks made of almond milk (he no longer drinks cow’s milk), a banana and a raw egg. “I sometimes put in there schnapps. I sometimes put in there tequila,” he said, “so it just gives a little extra flavor.”

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When the public saw him in only a Speedo, Schwarzenegger was in his 20s and could eat anything he wanted. Although he conquered the worlds of body building, acting and politics during the past 50 years, he can’t beat time. Now 74, he has had to alter not only his diet but also his exercise routine.

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