Benefits of Strength Training for Older Adults

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As we age, the importance of our overall health and wellness becomes more and more of a concern. A lot of us are not as active as we’d like to be and maybe our eating habits aren’t the best. There is no time like the present to work towards improving your lifestyle to be healthier all around.

It isn’t about sacrifice, it is about making conscious choices and finding fun activities that provide you a range of different benefits. For our diet, that means eating a balanced and varied diet that relies on lean protein, lots of whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. It means avoiding fried, fatty, and processed foods, but not denying yourself everything you love.

But as we get older, our mobility and ability can start to decline. This means that even if we walk and eat better, we still might not be seeing the results we’d like. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get that strong, healthy body over 50, it just means that you might have to up your game a little bit.

Something that might come as a surprise is just how good strength training is for people over 50. Lifting weights and partaking in resistance exercise might not seem like the domain of the over 50, but there are actually a whole host of wonderful benefits that make this a really great way to stay in shape and even help prevent injury and issues of degeneration.

What follows is a brief run down of some of the biggest benefits of strength training for people over 50. As with any lifestyle change, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine to ensure you will be safe and are taking any precautions that might be necessary if you have a specific condition.

Benefits of Strength Training Over 50

Strength training is a varied form of exercise that relies on the use of weights and resistance to help build strength, muscle mass, and improve tone. A lot of people immediately think of weight lifting and body building when they hear the phrase strength training, but this is a misunderstanding of what it really is.

Strength training does involve weight lifting. In fact, depending on your goals, the use of weights may even play a primary role in your efforts. But this is not the ridiculously bulky upper body and scrawny bodies that are notorious with body building. It is all about building strength. And yes, you do gain muscle in the process, but not like a body builder. In fact, not everyone that strength trains ends up bulky. This misconception is something that has long kept women away from strength training as they often want to be toned but not bulky and are under the impression that you only get bulky when you strength train. For those who want more toning, you will likely focus more on resistance training than weight lifting.

When you engage in weight training and resistance exercise, you are improving the overall strength of your body. Particularly, the core and back are often a focus. This will help to improve posture, as you will have strong core muscles that make it natural and easy to sit up straight.

It also helps reduce your risk of injury, as your body is in good shape and can withstand things better. Another great benefit for someone over 50 is that, especially resistance training, can be a great way to lose weight and burn fat effectively. The reason that people lose fat and weight from strength training is that you build lean muscle mass when you strength train. Lean muscle mass will act to boost your metabolism, which makes weight loss and maintenance a lot easier.

Even if you have had an injury in the past or some limit to your mobility, there are tons of different exercise and modifications on exercises that will put strength training within reach. Consulting with a trainer at a local gym is a great way to establish a good strength training regimen and to ensure that you have learned proper form and process.

It has been shown that strength training can significantly reduce joint stiffness and sore backs — something that is incredibly common in those of us over 50. This might seem a bit counterintuitive until you think about the fact that a strong back and core and better posture will mean that things like a desk job won’t be as painful or taxing on your body.  You will have a stronger core that will keep your posture in such a way that reduces the stress and tension that are often associated with a desk job.

A lot of people over 50 who partake in strength training also note how they are often more flexible and mobile once they started exercising. This is because you slowly stretch and work muscles in your core, back, arms, and legs when you lift weights or resistance train, which keeps your muscles supple and strong.

Since muscle mass and tone are something that start to decline with age, strength training is a great way to combat this occurrence.

Conclusion

A lot of people are shocked when they find out just how great of an exercise strength training is for people over the age of 50. The benefits of strength training for people across a wide range of ages has been well documented and there are tons of benefits for people of all ages as well. A lot of issues that start to crop up and affect us as we get older can be reduced or even eliminated through strength training.

There are tons of positive benefits of strength training, including the increase in metabolism that results from the building of lean muscle mass. This can help you to lose weight and get more toned and defined. Strength training is also a great way to build core and back strength, leading to better posture, improved mobility, and even a reduced risk of injury.

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