If you’re reading this blog, I’d be willing to bet that you have some health and fitness goals. Let’s face it, from the person advised by his doctor to lose some weight, all the way to any given professional athlete, no one has EVER looked in the mirror and said, “I’m in exactly the shape I want to be in and there’s nothing I want to change about my health, fitness level or body shape”. If you’re over 40, keep reading to learn about one of the key ways to make progress toward those fitness goals. For anyone who wants to slow down the aging process, increase their energy, and stay younger and vibrant through every decade, science has shown again and again that resistance training with weights is crucial.
What benefits can you expect to see after you begin weight training?
Here are the Top 10 weight-training benefits for your mind and body:
- Strength training will help with weight loss. The #1 fitness goal for most people is weight management. And most people believe that doing a cardio workout – like bike riding – is the best way to burn calories. But when you increase muscle mass, your metabolism increases the amount of calories you burn each day, even while resting. And the calorie burn DURING a weight training workout will be at least as great, or greater, than the calorie burn during cardio. With weightlifting, your body will continue this faster burn for a day or two after your workout as well. Short version: Strength training equals weight loss!
- Your bone density will improve. Strength training will improve the density of your bones, which helps fight osteoporosis.
- Strengthen your joints. Your joints are a mix of bone, tendons, and ligaments. When you lift weights, you strengthen your bones (see number 2), tendons, and ligaments, and also lubricate your joints. All of this will help you keep your joints in a healthy condition.
- Increase your strength by lifting those weights. If you aren’t excited about growing older and weaker, then keep up your strength by adding some bench pressing and other weight training to your exercise routine. Added strength will also help with many daily activities, from unloading groceries to picking up the kids (or grandkids).
- Prevent fat from moving in. As your body starts to lose muscle mass, fat will start to accumulate in its place. If you want to keep the fat at bay, work on building and keeping your muscle mass.
- You can greatly reduce your risk of injury. When you strengthen your muscles, your connective tissues (ligaments and tendons), and increase your bone density, then your risk for injuries decreases significantly. The coordination gained in weight training will also help prevent falls and increase sports performance.
- You also reduce the risk of arthritis. Arthritis is the swelling of your joints that makes it difficult to move them. When you lift weights to benefit your joints, you help to prevent this disease as well.
- You will begin to feel the effects of your efforts in your everyday life. Have you noticed that you aren’t moving as fast as you used to? Are you starting to feel stiffness or pain in your lower back? Toning your muscles will provide support to surrounding areas, helping to prevent stiffness and soreness as you age.
- Increase your energy level. The more you work on your muscles, the more efficiently they will work for you. You will notice more energy to get through your day and you will sleep better at night. And as mentioned above, added strength will make many everyday tasks easier.
- Come on, get happy! Lifting weights has been scientifically proven to help keep anxiety and stress in check, which results in a better mood.
- Look younger! If the number one fitness goal is weight management, number two has to be looking good, right? As we age, our bodies and skin tend to sag. Keeping muscles toned will keep things in their place and help us look much younger.
Safety Is always important when you work out. So, please keep these three concepts in mind as you begin your routine.
- Injury prevention is more crucial in older exercisers.
It takes longer to recover from a pulled muscle at 40 than at 20. Appropriate warm-up, stretching and rest between workouts will allow you to attack your weight training in total safety. Your health is the # 1 priority, and you will only experience benefits if you maintain the ability to train.
- Variety is the spice of life – and the key to successful strength training
Your muscles will become accustomed to the workout if you don’t change it up, and they’ll consequently quit improving. In addition, repetitive movements can be damaging to your joints. There are many great exercises for any given muscle group. Rotate the number of sets, particular movements, and the number of days between workouts. The fresh challenge to your muscles will yield tremendous results.
- Remember the S’s
Start SLOW, Stabilize, Secure the Spine. Start SLOW: The pursuit of your fitness goals is a process, you won’t get into awesome shape in a day, week, or even a month. But each step you take on a healthy path is one step farther away from aging and loss of function. Take it easy at first so that you see positive results without injury. Finishing a weight training workout and knowing you could have done a little more is FAR better than realizing the next day that you’ve overtrained. Stabilize: Depending on your starting point, it may be a good idea to begin your strength training with a machine that ensures proper alignment and joint safety while you tone those muscles. Premier Fitness Source has a wide selection of top-quality exercise equipment and trained fitness experts who will listen to your needs and help you select the perfect products for your personal goals. Stabilize the Spine: Most of us have pulled a back muscle or experienced some back pain, and therefore know that kind of setback is not only debilitating but will certainly put a gap into the workout schedule. Making sure that you keep your spine safe will allow you to stick with your routine and achieve results. And once again, the professional quality equipment at Premier Fitness Source will ensure correct biomechanics and spinal alignment are maintained while you exercise.
Serving You from Start to Fitness.