Most of us have noticed the change is our body composition, strength and appearance as we’ve gotten older. We gain weight, we lose our ability to do what we used to – climb stairs easily, get up and down from chairs or the floor easily, carry groceries easily – and often our bodies don’t look like the used to. It seems inevitable and it’s frustrating.
Guess what? It’s not inevitable. It doesn’t have to be frustrating. You have a choice about how you age.
It’s loss of muscle that not only contributes to weight gain, but also causes daily activities to become more difficult.
As far as weight gain goes, in general, we add about 10 pounds each decade after midlife. The answer for many of us is dieting. The problem is, dieting without exercise doesn’t have a high success rate. And even if the weight is lost, over 90% gain it back within a year! So discouraging, right??? What’s even more discouraging is that dieting, without exercise, causes even more muscle tissue loss.
When we lose muscle, our metabolic rate (the rate at which we burn calories) slows down and calories that were used by muscle tissue are stored as fat. So often, weight gain is not caused by more calories being consumed, but instead by less calories being burned.
While cardio exercise burns calories, it does very little to address the root cause of this metabolism slowdown – loss of muscle mass.
Strength training is the answer to the constant frustrating cycle of weight gain, diet, weight gain again. It adds muscle, reduces fat, raises the metabolism and burns calories. Oh, and makes us stronger, which makes every movement we make, easier. Movements like lifting groceries, getting up off the floor and all the other movement that become harder the older we get.
Strength training not only adds muscle tissue, it also increases bone density, which reduces the risk or severity of osteoporosis. It reduces the risk of adult onset diabetes, reduces the risk of colon cancer, reduces low back pain reduces blood pressure, reduces arthritis, and alleviates arthritis pain.
And, if all those physical benefits aren’t enough, strength training drastically improves depressive symptoms.
It really is the key to living a strong, healthy, independent life as we age.
If you’re not involved in a weight training program, I highly suggest you make it a priority. It’s never too late to begin, not matter what your age or physical condition. DM me on my Facebook page if I can help you!