If you are considering adding strength training to your regimen but you’re unsure about whether or not it’s a must, then you have happened upon just the right space.
The short answer to this question is always a resounding, “Yes!”. It is highly unlikely you will ever be advised against training for strength. The benefits, in most circumstances, far outweigh any risks involved and your body will greatly appreciate you. This rings true for the young and old alike.
If you’re reading this post, chances are you are well aware of at least some of the benefits of regular, purposeful movement. Ideally, a well-rounded fitness routine will include several modalities such as balance and proprioceptive training, cardiovascular fitness, resistance, flexibility, power, and mobility training. Again, again, again, I get it. Who on earth has time to fit in all of this well-rounded business ??? I understand, but it’s a lot easier than it sounds with the correct programing. *Insert trusty fitness professional (wink,wink) or do a bit of research and figure out how to independently better balance and manage your fitness. *
Today, we are solely concerned with resistance training. More or less, this includes picking stuff up and putting it down, or adding a “load” to your body that must be overcome to make the necessary strength adaptations. These adaptations include increased stability, muscular endurance, hypertrophy, and power. Do not worry too much about these terms right now if they are not immediately familiar to you or you’re unsure about how they relate to your current circumstance. The overarching point is that you need to make strength gains in order to keep your body stable, support activities of daily living, improve muscle “tone” and body composition, and potentially better prepare you to continue enjoying a favorite sport and/or hobby.
In short, you do not need to concern yourself with a bodybuilder’s commitment or physique unless, or course, that’s your jam. Instead, the primary goals are a better quality of life and increasing your chances of a more gracious entry into the next stages of life.
Point blank: Strength training is good for everyBODY. Period. However, if you are a woman of a certain age, then adding resistance training to your routine is all the more advantageous.
As we age, we begin to lose muscle and gain fat. We have so much fabulousness to look forward to and this one is right at the top of the list. Just think, after about the age of 30, the average woman’s muscle mass declines approximately 3%-5% annually. This is assuming one is healthy and whole to begin. What does this mean for us?
Essentially it emphasizes that our most direct line of defense to counteract the “gifts” of mother nature is to ensure that regular strength training is a part of our routine to, at minimum, maintain the mass we begin with in this phase of life.
But why is that important?
You’ve heard the myth that muscle weighs more than fat, right? That is false in that a pound is a pound is a pound. At the crux of this statement is the fact that muscle is more dense than fat. It takes up less space and can easily be the difference between a few dress sizes at the exact same, if not higher, body weight.
Fat, while truly a necessary and valuable component of your body composition, slows down your metabolism, and is implicated in chronic disease after a certain percentage. Muscle, on the other hand, speeds up your metabolism and allows for a bit more caloric burn at rest.
In addition to speeding up your metabolism, which naturally slows down with that extra fat we tend to gain in middle age, regular strength training also improves your bone density. Roughly one in every two women over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. In addition to being knowledgeable about family history, limiting alcoholic beverages, and adequate nutrition, strength training and regular physical activity are important in both treatment and prevention.
You may be thinking to yourself, ‘I’m active, I love what I do, and if it ain’t broke….yada, yada, yada.’ And I hear you. I see you. I feel you. Nonetheless, we want you to remain healthy. We want you to continue to get stronger, faster, fitter, and better as you age. It’s possible, you know. By pumping a little iron here and there you can break through plateaus, minimize some of those nagging aches and pains that tend to haunt our knees and joints over time, and continue to enjoy a healthy and active life with an improved attitude and confidence. Plus, who doesn’t want the satisfaction of independently busting open that stubborn jar of marinara?
Trust me, Strength training is your friend. It’s good for everyone: You, your mom, sister, daughter, and friend.
If you’re interested in getting started and don’t know how,stay tuned. In the coming weeks I’ll introduce some surefire ways to get you started on your gym physique.
In the meantime,
Health, Light, and Joy to you, My Friend!
I’m so glad you stopped by.
Are you a gym rookie or junkie? Tell me what’s worked for you so far.