You are never going to be any younger than you are this very minute. Thirty seconds from now you’ll be older than you were when you started reading this blog. And, by the time you finish reading this post or clicking through to the next, you’ll be another minute or two older.
Rather than dwell on this somewhat depressing factoid, let’s focus on what you can do as you age and be sure you take care of yourself—starting now and moving forward.
Strength training can be an integral part of your life as you age because your body needs to be stronger to fight off serious illnesses as well as the everyday aches and pains of life…and yes, Father Time.
Perks of Strength Training
While there are countless benefits to strength training, it becomes even more important as we get older. One factor is our bone density, and for women, this can become a major concern since bone density decreases after menopause and estrogen levels drop significantly. Broken bones can pose increased risks as we age, so keeping active by strengthening muscles around those bones is a solid plan (pun entirely intended).
As we age and reach mid-life, we gain about 10 pounds of body weight every 10 years—or a pound a year, every year once we hit 40 (OK, 30.., but we didn’t want you crying). Let that sink in. Ugh. Most of us might try to stave this off with dieting, but as anyone who has tried a diet knows, a diet without exercise just isn’t sustainable for results. In fact, about a quarter of the weight lost during diets is actually muscle mass, so this dieting can actually be harming our bodies as we age. Maintaining a strong frame through strength training is one way to combat the effects of an aging body losing its muscle mass.
A strength-training program can also help us keep our testosterone levels higher. Natural testosterone is an asset for our bodies, so pumping that iron can increase testosterone levels to build lean muscle. More lean muscle also ups our bodies’ metabolism… so it’s like a natural diet without restricting what you eat. An increased metabolism means more energy, and more energy means more calories burned. This is a win-win for everyone!
The positive effects of building muscle cannot be overlooked, especially as we age. But, before you start any strength-training program, we recommend you consult with your doctor.
As we get older, life can also become more complicated, so a training program can help us reduce stress and keep us mentally sharp and clear. This makes us better prepared to cope with whatever life may throw in our path!