If you’re over 50, the idea of starting a weightlifting program might seem strange. After all, pumping iron is for bodybuilders, athletes, and fitness fanatics, right?
Actually, lifting weights has several benefits, even if you begin after you reach that 50-year milestone.
If you approach it right and follow an age-specific regimen, you can stay stronger, more youthful, and more independent throughout your life.
1. Get Stronger and Avoid Frailty
How often have you worried about getting old and frail? For most people over 50, it’s a real concern, especially if they are already recognizing a decline in strength and energy.
You can get to the point where it’s hard to walk as far as you’d like, run ordinary errands, and take care of your daily needs.
Even if that’s beginning to happen, you can maintain the strength you have and potentially increase your capabilities.
Strength training, after all, is another name for weightlifting. As you build your muscle strength, you’ll find that daily tasks seem easier, and you may even be able to keep up with more strenuous activities and sports.
2. Prevent Falls
You may not have had trouble with falls to this point, but if you let yourself become weaker, it gets more and more likely as you age.
In ten years, falls may cause you bumps and bruises; in fifteen, they may cause you broken bones.
How does weight training help you prevent falls? When you take the long view, you can build your resistance to falling.
When you follow a well-structured weightlifting program that gives you the strength and balance to hold yourself firmly upright, the falls that seem inevitable with increased age are less likely to happen.
3. Maintain Your Bone Density
We tend to think of weight training as a way to build muscles only. However, research has shown that people who strength train after age 50 maintain their bone density better than those who don’t.
People who exercise with weights have a profound advantage over those who don’t, because they’re less likely to develop osteoporosis.
So, if you do accidently take a fall, you’re much less likely to break a bone.
4. Improve Your Balance
People who don’t exercise typically lose their ability to maintain the dynamic balance they need to stay in control of their bodies as they move.
If they don't take charge of their fitness soon, they are more likely to have problems with the static balance needed to stay upright while standing still.
Our Los Gatos personal trainers work on core muscles during workouts to maintain and increase your ability to stay balanced in many different positions.
5. Stay Healthier
Okay. We’ve covered your muscles and your bones. These two benefits of strength training might not be a huge surprise to you.
But did you know that this type of exercise also decreases symptoms of many chronic diseases?
Diabetics can improve their blood sugar control. Those with high cholesterol can decrease their risk of heart disease.
People who are overweight or obese can control their weight better because this fitness activity increases their metabolism.
The pain associated with arthritis or spine problems can lessen dramatically as you build your core strength and flexibility. All of this just by picking up some weights!
6. Stay Mobile for Longer
With all the benefits listed so far, it’s easy to see how a lifting program can help you stay mobile longer.
No one wants to be confined to a wheelchair or scooter. No one wants to give up walking when and where they please.
As you improve your fitness, you can potentially go beyond maintenance to increase your mobility above what it has been in the past.
You’ll be able to keep going where you want to go and doing what you like.
7. Don’t Give Up Your Independence
What is the #1 factor that will determine your ability to age gracefully? For many people, remaining independent is the most important goal.
When you aren’t reliant on other people to give you physical support, you can make your own decisions based on what you want and need.
And in the end, that’s the single most attractive benefit of a strength training program.
What to do now
If you have been thinking about starting a strength training program, but are not sure how to get going, we can help.
We have a 28-Day Kickstart Program designed specifically for men and women 45+ where you will get the exact exercises you need to start feeling better while having a coach to show you how to do them correctly, and keep you accountable to your plan.
In this program you will get:
- Full fitness and goals assessment
- Personalized fitness coaching to teach you the exact exercises you need to safely and effectively move better and build stamina
- A simple meal plan to help you decrease inflammation
- 1-on-1 success coaching to help guide you as you work to change your diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits
You can move better, get stronger, and have more flexibility and energy, you just need a program that can show you what is right for you.
Click here to learn more and take back control of your health and fitness today!
Mint Condition Fitness empowers people to take control of their fitness and fully enjoy the life they have built.