The Importance of Strength Training Over 50
Save Your Muscle
Many people that are in their 50’s and beyond feel that the only type of exercise for them is cardio. Unfortunately lifting weights is perceived as an unnecessary risk and this is simply not true. Strength training is an extremely important and effective form of exercise, especially for those over 50. Here are five reasons why.
Maintain and Improve Strength
As a person ages, their muscle mass gradually decreases over time, and their general strength goes with it. When performed safely and properly, weight training will help prevent and even restore lost muscle mass and strength that typically comes with age.
Improve Your Balance and Flexibility
Commonly, flexibility and balance also decline with age, partially due to the natural loss of muscle mass. This is why falling is common as we grow older. Lifting weights can greatly improve balance by retraining the muscles to better react to unstable environments, helping to prevent falls. It can also improve flexibility by getting the body to move through the complete ranges of motion in the important basic movement patterns.
Preventing Bone Loss
Bone density decreases are also common with age, especially with women. Strength training requires many weight bearing exercises that slowly help rebuild and maintain bone tissue. This helps decrease the risks of osteoporosis and bone fractures and breaks.
Correct and Prevent Poor Posture
The decline in muscle mass as a person ages can also create postural issues leading to back and neck pain. By doing the proper resistance exercises to strengthen weakened muscles and correct imbalances, posture can be corrected and maintained.
Enhance Energy Levels
A person’s metabolism also slows down along with aging, which is an effect from the decrease in muscle mass. By strength training, muscle mass will be restored creating a higher metabolism. This will make a person feel like they have more energy and can get through the day without feeling like they need a nap.
Patience is a Virtue
Strength training for persons over 50 is extremely beneficial, but results will not happen overnight. It is important to start off slow and progress at a pace that works best for you. Especially if strength training is completely new, take the time to learn how to lift correctly to prevent injury and maximize your results. If you put the time and effort in, the results you want will come and your body will thank you.
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