Today I Learned...
fter decades of being told aerobic exercise is the key to staying healthy, it's time for adults 55+ to consider the importance of strength training as well. Strength training can help you develop a range of fitness components, including bone health and balance. It has benefits for all ages but is particularly important as we age. You get the greatest benefits from strength training when you do it over the long-term. And what's the best way to start? Simple: just pick up something heavy and lift it!
Strength training, once seen as an optional extra, should be considered just as important as aerobic exercise.
Muscle strength and density decrease as we age, so maintaining muscle mass is important for people 55+.
Stronger muscles also help the body better withstand the impact of falls and other injuries. When muscle strength fades with age, a person can lose their balance more easily—and poor balance increases your chances of breaking bones when you fall.
Strength training also boosts moods by increasing serotonin levels in the brain (the same neurotransmitter that antidepressants target). And since exercise is good for quality of life overall, it makes sense that strength training is equally important as aerobic exercise for older adults.
You get the greatest benefits from strength training when you do it over the long term.
You get the greatest benefits from strength training when you do it long-term. This is why it's so important to keep at it, even if you don't see immediate results.
If you stop doing strength training, even for a short period of time, your muscles will start to atrophy and become weaker again. But that doesn't mean that there's no point in starting an exercise program later on in life! In fact, many adults can actually start strength training for the first time at age 50 or even beyond if they're motivated enough.
What's the best way to start strength training?
If you're new to strength training, start with a simple program. It's best to start with just a few minutes per day and gradually increase your workouts as your body gets stronger.
Start slowly by doing just one or two repetitions at first, then work up to three or four. After that, move on to sets of five repetitions. Then add sets of eight reps, followed by ten reps for each exercise once you feel comfortable performing them correctly and safely.
Once you've mastered each movement in the gym and are confident about doing it on your own without injury, try adding more exercises into the mix! You can also gradually increase the amount of weight or resistance used during a workout until it feels challenging enough without causing pain or injury (but not too difficult).
Check out our strength training classes: Pump It Up with Light Weights and Morning Fitness - Strength Training (seated).
Once you start strength training, you never have to stop!
Strength training is a great way to stay fit, have fun, and feel good. It can also help you improve your health and reduce your risk of injury.
If you're new to strength training or are returning after an extended break from working out, it's important to start slow and learn the proper technique for each exercise. The key is always consistency—don't skip workouts just because you don't feel like doing it that day or if your busy schedule gets in the way.
By now, you’ve probably figured out that strength training has a lot of benefits.
It can help you stay fit and healthy as you age while also improving your overall quality of life. But there are still more reasons why this kind of exercise should be an important part of your routine: it helps prevent heart disease and osteoporosis, reduces risks for diabetes and cancer (by strengthening bones), improves balance and coordination—and let’s not forget about all those other muscles that get ignored but need some attention too!