As you steadily head towards retirement age it becomes progressively more important to take care of your health and physical capabilities because, for most people, their muscle mass is on an ever increasing downhill slide.
So you could say……..Size Does Matter.
This loss of muscle mass is all because of Sarcopenia…….which no one seems to be talking about in the mass media. And most people I talk to about their loss of muscle mass, have never heard of it.
And then the question always arises, “What is sarcopenia?”
In short, it is age related muscle loss.
The symptoms of sarcopenia affect everyone from the age of around 30 onward so Getting a Start on Growing Stronger earlier on in your life is far more preferable than leaving it until retirement age.
I feel it is such an important part of ageing I have devoted a whole article for you about “Understanding the Symptoms of Sarcopenia; the Causes and Prevention”. It tells you all about Sarcopenia Symptoms – and why exercise is so vital as we age.
The only way to stay ahead of the aging process is to stay active for as long as you possibly can. That’s the best course of action to take for sarcopenia prevention.
The good news is, you can maintain and even improve your physical condition with strength training and a few simple lifestyle changes.
I have worked out during my 70 odd years here on this earth, the best answer to Anti-Aging is Active Ageing and weight training in older adults needs to be part of that formula.
4 good reasons why you should be doing strength training .
1. Maintain and Increase Your Ability to do Normal Daily Activities
If you engage in strength training activities as you age you will be able to keep up with doing all those things like daily chores, carrying the groceries, lifting the grand kids and even something as simple as taking a shower (and not falling over in the cubicle).
By not doing some form of active ageing exercises you are at great risk of losing your independence in your retirement years so I feel that is a good enough incentive to get started……..it is Why Exercising NOW is Vital in Preventing Serious Health Issues Later on in Your Life
2. Muscle Building for Baby Boomers
Physically inactive people lose between 3% to 5% of their muscle mass every decade after turning thirty.
This muscle wasting is sarcopenia at work so you need to have some healthy ageing strategies in place.
So you can see why it is so important to develop a properly designed strength training routine so you can avoid muscle loss, and build it instead. And this is easily achievable, even if you are a good few years past thirty.
Regardless of age, it is never too late to start an exercise program which is the only way to reverse the loss of muscle mass from aging.
If you need some ideas with where and how to start exercising then this article will help: 4 Anti-Aging Exercise Ideas to Help Combat the Aging Process.
3. Helps Get Rid of High Blood Pressure
If you develop and keep up with a proper strength training routine you have a good chance of reducing your blood pressure back to a normal range, as strength training makes the heart stronger and forces it to pump blood more efficiently.
Lowering your blood pressure has a positive knock-on effect on many other areas of health, too.
4. Weight Training Anti-Aging Benefits for both Men and Women
For starters, it helps to burn fat by burning more calories – and that’s got to be a good thing.
This is very helpful since by the mid stage of our lives the bigger percentage of people will have found that Diets Don’t Work…….because in their 40’s they have piled on a few extra kilos and tried, often more than once, to get rid of the dreaded belly fat.
Apart from changing your lifestyle habits, an anti aging exercise program including strength training will help to effectively burn more calories. This means that you will have much more success with shedding unwanted weight in the long term.
Here’s something I found on the oversixty site worth having a look at: The real reason you gain weight as you get older.
4 Quick Tips for Starting a Strength Training Program:
1. Always get the advice of your doctor before you start working out. This is even more important if you haven’t exercised for a few years, are over the age of 50 or have some form of lifestyle disease.
2. Don’t go too hard when starting out…….your body is not ready for it yet. You have to get your tendons, ligaments and muscles ready for what’s coming ahead…….you need to be thinking fitness without any injuries.
Exercise is all about longevity so start your training two to three days a week slowly increasing up to at least four or five days per week. Staying active is the key……just keep moving.
Building muscle after 70 is still quite achievable as I have proven to myself and many others (to their amazement).
3. Always pay close attention to proper form when doing resistance exercises. This way you will help to prevent injury by doing an exercise incorrectly.
4. And always keep in mind that when you are strength training it should never cause you pain. If you experience any pain stop straight away.
One of the more common myths of exercise comes from the old and outdated saying of “No Pain, No Gain” and it is not something I agree with at all; especially as you get older. Regardless of what others may tell you, working out should not hurt.
Although, it is normal for your muscles to feel a bit sore for a day or two after a good workout – I just want people to understand that when a body part (muscle or joint) hurts during the course of an exercise set then it is time to back off and avoid any injuries.
Don’t let these odd bouts of pain deter you from pushing ahead with your training……..just accept that we all get some form of pain from time to time. Remember, the benefits of strength training for older adults are enormous and will far outweigh the inconvenience of the odd bit of pain.
4 Simple Fitness Rules to Live By:
1. Never miss a Monday
2. Never go 3 days without exercise
3. Workout at least 3 days a week – 5 days is better
4. Never give up.
It doesn’t matter what age you happen to be, it’s never too late to incorporate strength training into your weekly fitness routine – you just need to be willing to adapt it according to your specific circumstances, and don’t forget to obtain the OK from your family doctor before starting this type of anti-aging program.
For seniors starting an exercise program you first have to assess your needs, your current capabilities and then the risks involved so seek some professional advice before starting out.
By regularly engaging in a fitness program to make sure that your body stays strong you will be helping to maintain your independence for many years to come because it’s been proven that resistance exercise reverses aging in human skeletal muscle.
It is also very important to recognize the fact that one of the strongest predictors of longevity is fitness.
But I believe that in this day and age it’s not enough just to live longer. The goal is to approach your 80’s and 90’s living a full and active life and not living in a long-term care facility with little quality of life. Worth thinking about don’t you reckon?
Cheers – John – your Active Ageing Mentor and Coach.
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“That which is used develops; that which is not wastes away.” – Hippocrates