Have you ever had the thought of “lifting weights isn’t for me” before? Perhaps you think it’s too intense for someone of your age, size or experience; however, this is all just one big misconception.
Benefits of resistance training include:
Improved Bone density and Muscle Quality
Bone density is a measure of how strong your bone and while eating a nutritious diet is important in its maintenance, the best way to build and maintain good bone density is through resistance exercise. This is because, just like muscles, bones need to be placed under a moderate amount of stress in order to adapt.
Bone density goes down with age and for women specifically, it will dip significantly during perimenopause. This is problematic because without adequate density you are at risk of developing osteoporosis and being less mobile and independent as you move into older age.
Similarly, muscle helps us stay mobile and independent into old age and is mostly built through progressive resistance training. Therefore, if anyone should be lifting weights, it’s those in middle to older age.
Improved Body Composition and Lowered Chronic Disease Risk
While cardio is important for our heart health, it’s working with resistance that will give your body composition the greatest improvement. Working with weights and truly focusing on getting stronger over time will not only help you build and maintain muscle but also help you maintain a healthy body fat percentage.
A healthy body composition means lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses that can creep up as we age. Although there is no foolproof way to avoid it entirely, improving your chances never hurt!
Isn’t lifting weights dangerous as you age?
No! So long as you are in good health and have no conditions that would prevent you from engaging in such activity. It’s always good to check with a doctor if you’re unsure.
While age may be imposing some limitation on you or you may be faced with different obstacles than a younger counterpart, resistance training and lifting weights is good for you, especially in middle and older age.
Depending on your mobility and current training history you may need to start with some modifications; however, entirely avoiding resistance work just because you have limitations is not the answer!
Science is still unclear on the long-term recoverability of adults over 40; however, the short-term studies show that those over 40 years old respond to training just as well as those in their 20s. The important thing to keep in mind is just to work within your limits and ensure you hydrate, fuel, sleep and take enough time to recover after your training sessions.
It’s not uncommon to see competitive powerlifting athletes continue well into their 40, 50s, 60s and beyond!
To help you get on the right track, speak to someone from our personal training team today: https://movatiathletic.com/personal-training/training-solutions/