As we age it can feel like our body no longer works the way that we want it to. But don’t throw the towel in just yet – you can take charge and make positive changes to your lifestyle that will benefit your health with this once type of exercise most seniors tend to avoid. Weight training.
Improving muscle strength is beneficial for anyone, but even more so for those over 40. As we get older, our muscles can deteriorate, leading to issues with bones, balance and strength. Just getting out of bed can become an issue.
Research tells us that strengthening our muscles can even help with the management of blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin levels. It can even reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
We lose a small amount (around three to five per cent) of muscle mass each decade from the age of 30. But the good news is that it’s never too late to get started with weight training, even if you’ve never done it before.
This doesn’t mean you need to spend hours in the weights room. In fact, the best results come from high intensity resistance training – which means going hard with your effort for a shorter period.
A couple of sessions a week is all you need to start feeling the benefit. And you’ll need to increase the weights as your body starts to respond to the training.
Using machines to exercise is a great way to train as they focus on specific muscles and are often easier on our joints than free weights. Be sure to take some advice from a trainer before you begin, especially if this is new for you or you have had some injuries in the past.
Have you got any advice for someone beginning a new fitness plan to build muscle? We would love to hear from you in the comments.