Strength training at 40 and 50, or 60 for that matter!
So many people are under the misconception that you should not be strength training when you get older. That theory is absolutely ridiculous and I’m here to squash any of that so called thinking. In fact one of best examples out there is a women who didn’t even start training until well into her 50’s. She knows just as I do that age is just a number, and she is now in the best shape of her life.
You are never too old to start getting stronger and healthier. I have been strength training for quite some time. I started in my early 30’s and have never looked back. I incorporate a variety of things into my training these days like jumping jacks and jumping rope. It’s fun and it gets my heart pumping. Did you know some people start losing muscle mass as early as in their late 20’s and after 40 you start to lose more and more each year.
It’s great to do bodyweight exercises and calisthenics, but the main thing you need to do is challenge your muscles to do more than you normally do. Start out with light weights if you have never lifted before. Then work your way up to a weight that will work the muscle harder and do 10-12 reps if you can. Make sure you form is correct (there are tons of good YouTube videos out there is you’re not sure how to do something with proper form).
Don’t tell me you can’t see any advantage or gains because there were studies done in nursing homes that found that people in their 80s and 90s were able to increase strength, muscle, and functional capacity. My advice would be to make sure you work all the major muscle groups (arms, legs, shoulders and core). Do this at least 3 to 4 times a week.
By doing the strength training you are also prolonging your ability to do everyday tasks with ease. There is also evidence that it can help you sleep better and improve your overall mood. And since strength training doesn’t apply stress directly to your joints, it’s ideal for people with arthritis. Trust me I know. After my very first accident back in August I have been suffering from some arthritis in my left wrist and hand. After seeing a rheumatologist she actually advised me to keep lifting. Although it can’t reverse the arthritis, it can help alleviate the symptoms by strengthening the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the joints.
You might not think you are seeing changes but you sure will feel them. Give it a try and if you ever need help with starting or staying motivated, I am here to help. Not one, not two, not three, but many many benefits can be gained with a little strength training. Go and lift some weights.
Health & Happiness! Janet