AGEING IS AUTOMATIC. DECAYING IS OPTIONAL. Are you feeling the years? Are you resigned to sofa and slippers, convinced you’ve gone past the point where exercise and physical activity make any difference?
Why should over-40s consider resistance training? Let the experts give you 13 good reasons: Guess what? We’re a sedentary society. It’s clear an inactive lifestyle will lead to an increase in individuals body weight. According to stats, up to 80% of men and women in their 50s and older have too little muscle and too much fat. This is the slippery slope that leads to obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, low back pain and numerous types of cancer.
Resistance is NOT futile Fortunately muscle loss is reversible. Studies reveal that, for all ages, resistance exercise decade. So if you’re over 50, regular resistance exercise is vital.
Please note: If you have any of the conditions described below, don’t worry – we’ve thought of everyone. You can exercise under a tailored regime and intensity.
1: Rebuilding muscle. Dozens of studies prove that even a relatively brief programme of resistance exercise (20 to 40 minutes per session, two or three days a week) can rebuild muscle tissue in people between 50 and 90. Most of these programmes have led to a gain of three to four pounds of muscle after just a few months of strength training.
2: Recharging metabolism Resistance training has a dual impact on metabolic rate, increasing energy use during exercise and the following 3-day muscle recovery and rebuilding period.
3: Reducing fat. Most people get fat as they age, even if their eating patterns stay the same. Fortunately the same strength-training studies that showed a 3 to 4lb increase in muscle also demonstrated a 3 to 4lb decrease in fat weight.
4: Reducing resting blood pressure Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. With so many adults suffering high blood pressure, it’s encouraging that numerous studies have shown big reductions in resting blood pressure readings after two more months of standard or circuitstyle strength training.
5: Improving blood lipid Many adults have undesirable blood lipid levels, increasing the risks of heart disease. But regular strength training can result in favourable increases of 8 to 21% in HDL (good) cholesterol, favourable decreases of 13 to 23% in LDL (bad) cholesterol and favourable reductions of 11 to 18% in triglycerides.
6: Enhancing postcoronary performance For older adults who have had problems with cardiovascular health, resistance exercise has proven to be a productive means to attain and maintain desirable body weight; increasing muscle mass and strength, improving physical performance, speeding recovery from the cardiovascular event and enhancing self-
7: Resisting diabetes. People with desirable body weights and a very low risk of developing type 2 diabetes. in insulin sensitivity and glycemic control after several weeks’ strength training.
8: Increasing bone density. Although muscle loss is closely associated with bone loss, strength training increases both muscle and bone mass – a good thing. Substantial increases in bone mineral density have been seen after several months of regular resistance exercise.
9: Decreasing physical discomfort. While a large percentage of people with lower-back pain can reduce discomfort by strengthening their lower-back muscles, resistance exercise has also proven helpful for
10: Enhancing mental health. There have been several studies on the psychological changes associated with regular resistance exercise, with serious improvements among adults and older adults in depression, physical self-concept, fatigue, revitalization, tranquility, tension, positive engagement and overall mood disturbance.
11: Revitalizing muscle cells. Circuit-style strength training characterised by short rests between successive exercises can increase mitochondrial content and capacity. With results so positive, researchers have concluded that resistance exercise can reverse
12: Reversing physical frailty. from sensible strength training. Reasonable resistance exercise can enable elderly adults to allowing them to walk or even cycle much more.
13: Combating cancer. Strength training is well tolerated by adult cancer patients and may provide a variety of health and as reduced fatigue, increased muscle strength, improved body composition and enhanced physical function (especially shoulder mobility in patients recovering from breast cancer).