Don’t really care if you like lifting weights or not. Adults should strength train.
Strength training, also known as resistance training, is an important aspect of any fitness routine, particularly for middle-aged adults. Regular strength training can lead to numerous physical and mental benefits, including improved muscle mass, bone density, and balance, as well as reduced risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. We aren’t the spring chickens we used to be, but let’s see how strength training can help us stay feeling “young” for as long as possible.
Improve Muscle Mass and Strength
One of the most significant benefits of strength training for middle-aged adults is the ability to improve muscle mass and strength. As we age, our muscle mass naturally decreases, which can lead to a decrease in overall strength and mobility. According to the National Library of Medicine, “Muscle mass decreases approximately 3–8% per decade after the age of 30 and this rate of decline is even higher after the age of 60.” Strength training helps to combat this by stimulating muscle growth and increasing muscle strength. This can lead to improved overall fitness and a decrease in the risk of falls and injuries.
Strength training also plays a crucial role in maintaining bone density. As we age, our bones can become more fragile and susceptible to fractures and breaks. After the age of 50 we tend to have bone breakdown exceeding bone production. Strength training helps to stimulate bone growth and improve bone density, which can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases. We hate to be the bear of bad news, but your daily glass of milk is not going to be enough to keep your bones completely strong and healthy. You need to put them under stress…often.
Coordination, Balance, and Stability
Another important benefit of strength training is the ability to improve balance and stability. We have all seen the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercial…not something we want to actually experience. As we age, our balance and stability can deteriorate, which can increase the risk of falls and injuries. Have you ever heard the phrase, “use it so you don’t lose it”? That is very true when it comes to basic balance, coordination, and proprioception. As we age, our nervous system starts to become less efficient at sending messages from the brain to muscles and vice versa. Strength training and movement in general can help to build the protective coating of those nerves, known as the myelin sheath, creating more efficient neural pathways resulting in better movement.
Finally, strength training can also play a role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Regular strength training can help to increase muscle mass and improve overall fitness, which can lead to a decrease in body fat and improved glucose metabolism. Additionally, strength training can also lead to improved cardiovascular health, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.
In conclusion, regular strength training is essential for middle-aged adults to maintain good health. We suggest at least 2x per week paired with your other desired activities. General cardiovascular activity is great, but quality resistance training yields some benefits that cannot be achieved elsewhere. Strength training will be the gold standard of exercise in the next 10 years. There will be so many people who wish they started when they were 20, 30, 40, 50, even 60! You have the opportunity to immensely help your future self. Start today!
Interested in working with our coaches to develop a strength plan just for you? Shoot us a message!
Get inside look as to what we do from our social media!