The Importance of Strength Training in Later Years
At first glance, strength training might not seem a suitable sport for people approaching their silver years, which is why you can commonly see individuals over forty years of age leaning more towards “light” exercise such as jogging, or Pilates. While there is nothing inherently wrong with other types of sports, strength training in later life can come with great benefits for your overall well-being you wouldn’t want to ignore.
In fact, weight training can not only help you keep vicious fat at bay more efficiently, but it can also help you lead a more energetic, positive lifestyle. Here is why strength training for over-frothy men and women is important in elevating your quality of life.
Build functional strength
Strength is never a weakness. The age-old adage not only holds true for young, thriving individuals, but also for people of all age. By doing weighted exercises in the gym you will be preparing your body for the challenges of the outside world, and strength training directly translates into everyday life, helping you take on daily tasks with ease.
It doesn’t matter if you’re carrying groceries or lifting up your (grand)kid for a kiss on the cheek, by building functional strength in the gym you will be able to rise to any challenge in the real world without the fear of hurting your back or having to take prolonged breaks. Building raw strength and explosive power will also make you feel young and unstoppable, and it will have a great positive influence on your confidence and self-esteem.
Build and preserve muscle mass
Speaking of confidence, there is nothing that can influence the way you perceive yourself like an enviable reflection in the mirror. More importantly, muscle mass will play a much bigger role than simply sculpting a great physique – it will also help keep your metabolism revving longer and your body healthy.
Building muscle becomes increasingly important once you cross that thirty-year mark, as your testosterone production starts to slowly decrease (more on that in a bit) and eventually lead to numerous health problems, including obesity. Using strength training to elevate your testosterone levels naturally and increase lean muscle mass as the years progress will help you improve your quality of life significantly.
As you progress through life and as your body slowly starts to change, the chances of injuring yourself doing everyday chores rise exponentially. The only real way to minimise these chances and stay-injury free is to build protective muscle mass, preserve the health of your joints, tendons, and ligaments, and build the necessary strength that will help you push through the toughest of challenges.
However, in order to reap the benefits of your workout routine, you will also need to ensure safety during training as well. Injuring yourself in the gym can set you back significantly, so be sure to prevent mishaps by wearing bodybuilding clothes designed to keep you safe while allowing full range of motion throughout your workout. Remember, staying safe in the gym is a prerequisite for staying safe in the real world.
Fight off age-related illnesses
With time, numerous health conditions related to aging can arise, such as obesity, arthritis, dementia and other forms of brain-degenerative illnesses, and sarcopenia, a degenerative condition leading to muscle loss and skeletal deterioration. While the majority of these conditions may or may not occur, sarcopenia is a disorder that affects all men and women over the age of 40.
However, this does not mean that you cannot fight the effects and even prevent numerous age-related illnesses by sticking with weight training, as it will force your body to create hormonal balance, and safeguard your mental and physical health. With strength training, you will be able to recapture that radiant, youthful feeling.
Improve mobility and flexibility
Many people, regardless of age, fear that the effects of continuous weight training might reduce their mobility and flexibility, leading to decreased joint and connective tissue health over time. This couldn’t be further from the truth. By training continuously under heavy loads and exercising full range of motion, you will be able to increase your mobility and strengthen your joints as well as your tendons and ligaments.
This does not mean, however, that you can completely forgo your post-workout stretching routine, as it will help you alleviate the pressure from your muscles and joints, and work to add to the benefits of your workout. In fact, complementing your training session with 10 minutes of flexibility and mobility work can do wonders for your overall health, at the same time allowing you to come back to the gym stronger than before.
Many people train vigorously in their twenties and thirties, after which they transition to “lighter” sports for the sake of their health, when in reality, strength training becomes all the more important as you progress further away from that forty-year mark. By taking these benefits to heart and implementing strength training into your lifestyle, you will have an easier time building a vibrant, healthy future.