How many times have you been frustrated by how much harder it is to stay fit as you age and how many new aches and pains you experience? As a personal trainer I’ve heard it said countless times. As a woman who has passed 50, I’ve experienced it firsthand.
Why is fitness so much harder as we age and what can we do about it?
In general, we achieve our peak muscle mass during our mid to late 30s. After that, muscle mass gradually declines. Since muscle is more metabolically active than fat, as muscle mass declines, metabolism declines. This is why many of us gain weight as we age. The loss of muscle mass also affects balance. Additionally, bone loss begins in the late twenties, which increases risk for osteopenia and osteoporosis.
The good news is that muscle loss and bone loss are not inevitable and not irreversible. Weight training (strength training) is the most important activity to engage in to prevent and increase both muscle and bone loss. When we train with weights, muscles are stressed; muscles are attached to bone with other soft tissues, so bones are stressed. It’s this stress, or work, that causes positive changes in bones and muscles. As we gain muscle:
· metabolism is increased
· balance improves
· energy increases
· everyday movements become easier
· sleep quality improves
· blood pressure improves
· blood glucose levels improve
· quality of life improves
· we feel stronger and more confident
As we gain bone mass, risk for falls and fractures are decreased and we feel more confident in our everyday activities.
Strength training also improves symptoms of many chronic diseases including arthritis, back pain, depression, diabetes, and obesity. It also increases our cognitive functioning.
Bodies love movement. Muscles want to be worked. It is never too late to begin weight training! If you want to improve or even
your ability to do everyday activities, call me. I will help you become stronger and stay active and independent!