Aging Doesn't Have To Mean You're Declining: If You Strength Train That Is...
By : Mandy Erickson
Published October 2, 2018
Ageing doesn’t have to mean declining: If you strength train, that is
To begin, a great quote from George Barnard Shaw:
“We don’t quit playing because we age, we age because we quit playing.”
In light of that, the stereotypical grandma remains old and wrinkly with white hair, and frail and weak with hunched shoulders and a curved spine.
And although you can’t know her health numbers by looking at her, her bone density is a fraction of what it once was, and she suffers from a phenomenon called sarcopenia, meaning she has lost muscles mass and strength. Read more about sarcopenia here: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4066461/).
Now I’m not promising we can help you avoid greying hair and wrinkles, but the other stuff is avoidable. And it will go along way in keeping your quality of life where you want it to be for as long as possible.
In short, ageing does not have to go hand-in-hand with frailty and broken bones, nor does it have to mean a decline in strength or muscle mass. Strength training is at the heart of maintaining both your bone density and muscle mass and strength.
Here are 8 reasons why it’s ESPECIALLY important to strength train in your later years, and it’s never too late to start:
8. Don’t break a hip
The National Osteoporosis Foundation says bone density loss generally happens to both men and women in mid-life. For a woman, it often speeds up during menopause, as her estrogen levels drop, and by the time she’s 65 years old, if she has experienced a fracture in her hip, she’s five times more likely to die within a year.
Strength training helps prevent bone density loss, and might even help build new bone. Check out this study for more about strength training and bone density:(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9927006)
7. Keep Getting it up
In short, strength training keeps testosterone levels higher, both in men and women. It can even increase testosterone levels, so certainly incentive for men who have felt themselves decline in that regard. Read more: (https://www.webmd.com/men/features/exercise-and-testosterone)
6. Metabolism on Fire!
Remember when you were a kid and you could eat anything you wanted and not gain a pound? I’m not saying your metabolism will improve to be that of a 10-year-old kid, but there is evidence that strength training helps your body’s metabolic processes, which essentially means it keeps your body running more effectively. A more efficient body means fighting off things like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
5. Lift that Couch at 75!
One of the worst parts of ageing seems to be losing the ability to do things you used to be able to do, like carrying groceries up five flights of stairs or moving a couch so you can vacuum underneath it. In short, if you want to stay independent and continue to look after yourself when you’re 80 you need to maintain your muscle mass and strength.
Check out this 2011 study that shows that weight training does exactly this: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3117172/). Simply put, the study concludes “Progressive strength training in the elderly is efficient, even with higher intensities, to reduce sarcopenia, and to retain motor function.”
4. Who Wants to be Happier?
Dr. Wayne Westcott (http://www.wayneandgary.com/meetwayne.php) has done several studies on psychological changes associated with resistance training, studies that have shown that strength training helps with depression, physical self-concept, tranquility, positive engagement and overall mood in adults and older adults.
3. Stop, or even Reverse, Type 2 diabetes!
Westcott also says that people with appropriate body weights, as well as moderate to high levels of muscular fitness, are at a low risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. On top of this, many studies have shown an improvement in insulin sensitivity and glycemic control after people start weight training.
For motivation, check out this story in the CrossFit Journal of how this man reversed his diabetes through fitness: (https://journal.crossfit.com/article/delatorre-beers-2)
2. Who Wants to Live Without Pain?
Many people just accept that ageing comes with weird aches and pains, and often chronic pain. Improving your strength also goes a long way in helping with things like lower back pain, as well as arthritis and fibromyalgia.
1. Look Better, Feel Better
Real simple: A more efficient body, strong body with more lean muscle mass just looks and feels better than being frail or pudgy and overweight. Look good, feel good! Even at 70. That’s our hope for you.
Contact us now, no matter how old ar, and how old you feel right now!