Why adding strength training to your daily routine is vital as you age.

Why adding strength training to your daily routine is vital as you age.

What do you first think when you hear the words ‘strength training?’

  • It’s only for men?
  • It turns you into the hulk?
  • It burns fewer calories than cardio?

The good news is these are ALL MYTHS. The bad news is, that not enough people understand the benefits of strength training, especially as they begin to age.

You probably know that muscle mass declines with age. The average person loses about 1% of muscle mass each year starting in their early 30s!! To stave off this natural process we all must get serious about weight training now.

Jake Boly, a certified personal trainer in Hempstead, NY states, "Lifting weights in your 30s will lead to healthier bones and stronger muscles, while benefitting other physiological systems that tend to decrease as we age.”

Current research has demonstrated that strength-training exercises have the ability to combat weakness and frailty and their debilitating consequences. Done regularly (e.g., 2 to 3 days per week), these exercises build muscle strength and muscle mass and preserve bone density, independence, and vitality with age.

In addition, strength training also has the ability to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and the signs and symptoms of numerous chronic diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes, while also improving sleep and reducing depression.

Yet, that’s not all! In fact, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. On top of these huge benefits, we have added a few extras, just to really push the point across the line.

Decreases your risk of falls - Strength training lowers your risk of falls, as you’re better able to support your body.  One review including 23,407 adults over the age of 60 showed a 34% reduction in falls among those who participated in a well-rounded exercise program that included balance exercises and resistance and functional training.

Improves brain health - Those who engage in strength training may have better brain health and protection against age-related cognitive decline. Multiple studies in older adults have pointed to significant improvements in cognitive function (e.g., processing speed, memory, and executive function) after participating in strength training, compared with those who did not participate.

Promotes a better quality of life - Strength training may increase your quality of life, especially as you age. 16 studies including adults ages 40 years and older showed a significant correlation between resistance training and better mental health, physical functioning, pain management, general health, and vitality. What’s more, strength training may improve quality of life in those with arthritis. One review of 32 studies showed strength training significantly improved scores in pain and physical functioning.

Improves heart health - Multiple studies have shown that regular strength-training exercise can decrease blood pressure, lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, and improve blood circulation by strengthening the heart and blood vessels. Strength training also can help you maintain a healthy body weight and manage your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels are a major risk factor for heart disease.

And last but not least,

Burns calories efficiently - Strength training helps boost your metabolism in two ways. First, building muscle increases your metabolic rate. Muscles are more metabolically efficient than fat mass, allowing you to burn more calories at rest. Second, research shows that your metabolic rate is increased up to 72 hours after strength-training exercise. This means that you’re still burning additional calories hours and even days after your workout!

All this from 2-3 weight training session per week?

Sign me up!