Yes! You can strength train at any age

You may think that once you have reached a “certain age” that it is too late to begin strength training. This is simply not true. It is never too late to start strength training with weights. Strength training offers many benefits for everyone, especially for those who are over the age of 50. Let’s take a closer look at what happens to your bones and muscles as you age, the benefits of strength training, and how you can get started.  
 

Muscle and Bone Breakdown

Once you reach the age of 50, you start to experience sarcopenia. This means that you lose muscle mass – you become weaker and lose definition in your body. You lose 10% of your muscle mass every decade after turning 50. Your bones also begin to break down as you age. Osteopenia is the term used to define the reduction of bone mass. If this condition is undiagnosed or untreated, then it will develop into osteoporosis. Your bones will then become brittle and very fragile.  

 

Benefits of Strength Training 

It is essential to battle against the breakdown of age by strength training. Strength training will not only ensure that your bones and muscles keep their strength, but it will also improve your mobility, flexibility and symmetry for balance. Here are a few more benefits from regular strength training.  

 

  • Strength training keeps you functioning efficiently and effectively. This also means that you can live a pain free life and perform everyday activities with ease.  

 

  • Strength training contributes to less injuries. You will also be able to bounce back from an injury much faster.  

 

  • Strength training opens neurological pathways. These “mind to muscle” pathways need to be continually challenged in order to maintain balance and coordination 

 

  • Strength training improves your confidence. You can rest easy knowing that your body can handle any type of movement in an active lifestyle.  

 

Now you know the benefits, what can YOU do?  

You do not need to lift very heavy weights or worry about doing complicated exercises when you strength train. Start where you are comfortable and then add weight as you get stronger. A simple pair of dumbbells is all you need to get started.  

 

For example, you can do a Shoulder Press by lifting dumbbells over your head. This simple movement helps strengthen the bones of the spinal vertebrae because it axial loads the spine downward when you lift the weight up. If you want to add more to the movement, you can balance on one leg while you lift the dumbbell with the opposite hand. This not only challenges the ankle, knee and hip joints of the balancing leg but works the cross-bands of stabilization in your body!  
 

Strength training is essential to maintaining a healthy body. With proper guidance, anyone can learn how to safely and effectively strength train at any age. Practicing proper form is essential, especially when you first begin strength training. Your local gym can help you learn the correct weights to use and how to safely perform each movement. With regular practice, you will start to feel better, become stronger, and protect your body from aging.   

Yours in health

Mandy Dobbs - Personal Trainer | 604 935 8655 | mandydobbs@shaw.ca

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