Strength Training After 50

I created this page to mainly be for massage but quickly saw the need to address health issues in general. So I am adding the following blog to address strength training for those of us over 50 years of age and to explain why it is relevant to maintaining a healthy body.

Why Weight Training: It’s easy to see the need for aerobic exercise like walking, jogging, biking or swimming. Many will dismiss weight training especially as we age, as an activity for the “younger crowd”. Something we need to understand is that weight training (resistance training), is the only exercise that will slow down or even reverse the decline in muscle mass and bone density as well as overall strength, as we age. There is a need for caution though…………

Ease Your Way Into It: A person who has been sedentary for a long period of time is at a higher risk for falls due to their muscle tone being weak, flexibility being limited and their balance being compromised. These areas diminish as we age naturally, but do so at a much faster rate when we are inactive. One way to combat this deterioration is to begin a strength training regimen 3-4 times per week before beginning any walking or other aerobic activities. A yoga class would be perfect for this as it addresses flexibility as well as helping develop a positive mindset towards your new, active lifestyle. It will also prepare the muscles for the workload that will be required for a strength program. The key here is to ease into it in order to avoid injury. Your only competition is yourself not others in the gym. You want to avoid injury because once injuries happen it slows progress and is a real discouragement and in some cases the participant will quit completely for fear of another injury. Follow the two simple steps below for a more successful return to a strength training program

  1. Know Your limitations: We are not in our 20’s any longer so we need to take it slower and give the body a chance to make the adjustments needed to perform the movements you are requiring of it. I cannot stress enough the importance of stretching. That is why I also recommended a yoga program prior to starting a strength training program.
  2. Forget All the Fluff: My best advise upon returning to a exercise routine is to stick to the basics and pay attention to form versus weight. A really good place to start while preparing the body for returning to strength training is to do a body weight routine. Develop a routine of body weight exercises like push-ups, crunches, half squats, calf raises, etc. Focus on form along with slow, easy reps. No need for speed or high reps. You are going to be stiff and sore initially so expect that. I encourage you to get a massage as this will help move that lactic acid out and assist the muscles recover more quickly. There is a lot more to say on this subject but this is just some basics that I wanted to share with you. The Bottom Line: The message I’m trying to convey here is that it’s never too late to address your health needs by beginning a workout regimen that’s appropriate to your present level of fitness. Remember, once you lose your health you may never get it back to the level it once was. The time to act is NOW !!!! Thanks for reading this and feel free to share it with someone you feel could benefit from its message. I wish you good health and God Bless.
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