The Importance of Strength Training in Later Years (40+)
It’s not easy accepting the fact that you’re getting older, however, if you were under the impression that you are past your prime, you would be sorely mistaken. In fact, you have the potential to transform your life for the better and achieve new goals regarding strength, and fitness in general.
You only need the right set of tools for the job and the willingness to persevere under the changing circumstances, all the while optimising your training routine to maximise results according to your age and aspirations. The possibilities for growth are endless, so here is why strength training after 40 is important for men and women alike.
Build and retain muscle mass
The more you age, the more lean muscle mass becomes important for your overall health, vibrancy, and well-being. Not only does strength training promote muscle growth, but anaerobic training has been proven to effectively burn calories, sometimes even more than regular, steady-state cardio.
Because muscle mass is not energy-efficient, meaning your body needs to consume more calories to maintain it, you will be burning through calories at an increased rate. This leads to a lean, more toned physique in the long run. What’s more, increasing muscle mass is advisable for men and women alike, as it will make the existing fat spread more evenly across your frame, leading to an aesthetically pleasing result.
Balanced hormone production
To all the men out there, strength training can literally save your long-term health and spike testosterone production. After you hit that 30-year mark, your natural testosterone levels start to slowly dip, leading over the years to numerous health complications, and simply making you feel and act older than you should.
The degenerative condition leading to a loss of skeletal and muscle mass quality is called sarcopenia, and while it is only natural to be affected by it as you age, it doesn’t mean that you can’t fight its effects for a healthier, stronger lifestyle. Unfortunately, sarcopenia affects men and women alike, with regular strength training being one of the only effective long-term solutions for staying strong, healthy, and vibrant in your later years.
Weight training supports healthy hormone production in men and women alike, helping you retain your youthful glow, build lean muscle mass, and sculpt an enviable physique.
Minimise injury risks and become sturdier
As the years go by, the risks of injuring yourself rise exponentially. While many adults over 40 will opt for a more “gracious” sport such as yoga or Pilates, it is strength training that will actually help you build a strong, sturdy frame that will safeguard you from accidents and injury.
Strength training targets your muscle and connective tissue, and more importantly, your central nervous system, builds bone density and dexterity, and makes you more resilient overall. A sound training program based on strength gain will help you strengthen your lower back and your core, improving your posture. Moreover, you will be strengthening the rotator cuffs in your shoulders, and by performing squats and deadlifts regularly, you will strengthen your hips and your glutes as well, which are some of the weakest areas in older adults.
Remain mobile and flexible
Contrary to popular belief, strength training will not ruin your mobility and flexibility. In fact, by exercising a proper range of motions under load continuously, you will be able to improve your mobility and safeguard your joint health. This means that your knees, hips, wrists, elbows, and shoulders will be able to move properly without any pain.
Couple your strength routine with short pre and post-workout mobility and flexibility routines and you will have no problem keeping muscle soreness at bay and recovering just in time for the next training session. As the years advance, maintaining adequate mobility and joint health will be increasingly important, and strength training will help you achieve just that.
Strength is never a weakness
Finally, while other sports might emphasise one body part over the other, increase the overall risk of injury, or simply be less effective in building a sculpted physique and a healthy lifestyle, strength training is the one sport that will ensure your body stays young, healthy, and vibrant.
Implementing strength training into your weekly regime with a clear goal in mind and the help of a trustworthy personal trainer will allow you to enjoy life to the fullest and take what you have learned and gained in the gym into the real world. Weight training translates into real-life scenarios, and no matter if you’re running with your dog or playing rugby with your son, you are bound to give a hell of a fight worthy of a twenty-year-old.
Strength is never a weakness. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to build functional strength, and while you should always exercise caution and safety during training, you can rest assured that the rewards will be great. With these essential benefits in mind, you will have no problem building an enviable, powerful physique regardless of your age.
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