As we age, our muscles begin to shrink and lose mass. The number and size of our muscle fibers also decrease. Fortunately, we can counteract the effects of the aging by exercising. Exercise can increase the strength and size of our muscles.
Aging is associated with a loss of bone mass which could lead to osteoporosis. Strength training has been shown to increase the bone density and decrease the chance of osteoporosis, or slow down the effects of osteoporosis if you already have it. Exercise also helps keep your joints mobile which can help prevent or decrease arthritis symptoms.
Increasing your muscle strength and endurance makes it easier for you to perform daily tasks and helps you maintain your balance. Falls are a leading cause of injury in older adults and can be prevented with regular balance and strength training.
Strength training also decreases the risk of injuries. Muscles serve as shock absorbers. A stronger muscle will help to dissipate the repetitive landing forces in weight-bearing activities such as walking or running. Up to 80% of low back problems are muscular in nature and can be prevented with regular, balanced, core and strength training.
Strength training builds lean muscle tissue which burns more calories than fat. So even when you are not lifting weights your body’s metabolism is working faster. This can help you lose or maintain your weight.
You do not need to spend hours a day lifting weights to benefit from strength training. Two to three strength training sessions a week lasting about 30 minutes is sufficient for most people.
Do not let the lack of gym equipment stop you from exercising. You can work out anywhere with dumbbells, exercise bands, or even your own body weight.
Strength training is the fountain of youth.