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WHY BEING STRONG MATTERS AS YOU AGE

 

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SOCIETAL NORMS (yawn)

Question: As we grow older, albeit starting a family or preparing for retirement, is lifting weights even a safe, healthy option?

Or, should this type of exercise be reserved for the young and primal athletes?

For most of us, when we think of people lifting weights, we think:

#1. Men viciously grunting and moaning in a gym -or-

#2. Super ripped models in their matching bra and sports tight looking ever so fresh-faced and flawless

If you’re a woman reading this, you weren’t taught or encouraged to lift weights growing up. With some outliers and female athletes being the exception, women commonly didn’t “lift”.

There was no emphasis on becoming stronger. Women were socialized to focus their attention on cardio laden actives like running or spinning.

Wanna know what we think? BLASPHEMY!

So what gives with these (bs) societal norms?

We’re here to tell you being strong (aka) LIFTING WEIGHTS IS LEGIT! And as we age, becomes increasingly MORE important for quality of life.

That’s right – when you do it properly, safely and follow a thoughtfully designed exercise program tailored to your skill level, lifting weights is exactly what does a body good for not only how you look, but for the mechanics of your physical and mental health both now and for the rest of your life.


THE LEGITIMACY OF LIFTING WEIGHTS

For the record, when I say strength training, it’s the same as lifting weights. Both terms mean using any form of resistance to challenge your body.

This can include using your own bodyweight, dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, resistance bands,…you get the idea.

And, it’s relative meaning you DO NOT have to be a seasoned body builder, super strong or able to lift heavy weights to be successful at this and get results.

Strength training is for EVERYONE – all ages and skill levels.

It is especially important the older we get because we lose muscle mass, our bones become weaker, more fragile, and we start feeling the effects of being sedentary: achy backs, crunchy knees and stiff joints.

Getting out of bed, using the stairs, picking up our kids or grandkids – it all HURTS!

Mechanically speaking, our bodies aren’t moving as well as they used to.

What gives?

Moving your body is first and foremost. If you want to enjoy quality of life, you need to move your body and be active. This is unequivocally TRUE!

Secondly: if you want to not only MOVE your body but MOVE WELL, then part of your physical activity / regular exercise routine must include weights / some form of resistance.

As we age, strength training is especially important to keep us moving well and pain free, maintain proper bone density and of course, able to stay active with our kids and grand-kiddos!

And aging doesn’t need to be something we fear or fun away from. It’s a privilege we can learn to embrace and accept. This of course is easiest when we are proactively taking care of ourselves and enjoying quality of life.

You just need to re-frame your mindset and possess a willingness to learn. Everything else falls into place.

Strength training provides an unmatched variety of benefits to your body. From optimizing your overall health and performance to just looking and feeling your best, strength training is arguably the best bang for your buck at the gym.

Who doesn’t LOVE a good deal?!

As mentioned, most of us avoid adding weights or any type of resistance to our exercise routines for the same few reasons:

We were never shown how and don’t know what to do, we feel intimidated going to gyms or too out of shape, we feel too old to be using weights or, we have pre-existing stuff going on like back pain and achy joints and think using weights will make this worse.

Admittedly, strength training is harder to learn versus hopping mindlessly on an elliptical, treadmill or bike.

In full disclosure, the entire team at Results Fitness believes you and everyone else reading this should use some form of resistance training, as long as you are physically able.

Even if you have a history of injury, cranky knees, joints or back issues, there is typically always something you can do to still move and move well! In fact exercise is medicine and when done the right way, alleviates chronic pain (more on this below).

So, what actually happens to your body (and mind) when you use weights?

And, why is this EXTRA important as we age like fine wines?

Here is my list – the SUPERB 7!

Exactly what happens to your body when you lift weights aka strength train aka get stronger aka enjoy quality of life as you age!


THE SUPERB 7:

WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY WHEN YOU LIFT WEIGHTS

Everyone knows exercising can totally transform the body – making it leaner, tighter, more toned, more muscular…you catch our drift!

These are all super cool and tangible results – things you can physically see with your own eyes. But Results Fitness loves, loves, loves strength training for so much more – “the superb 7”!

These are the benefits you can’t see but without question, will make your life longer, happier and healthier!

#1. SUPERWOMAN/MAN STRENGTH!

This is the most obvious, but strength makes daily activities much easier and improves your quality of life. For instance, isn’t it the best when you’re able to carry and unload 8 bags of groceries in one trip? Don’t you love picking up your kids or grandkids without being in pain or hurting your back?

#2. LESS PAIN, MORE GAIN!

Strengthening the muscles around problematic joints (knees, shoulders) can alleviate chronic pain in those areas. A common observation is how people with bad backs feel better after proper lifting..really damn good and pain FREE because YES, when done properly, lifting weight HELPS alleviate pain!

Side note: this should be done under the direction of an experienced coach to make sure your technique and form is on point!

#3. BANGING METABOLISM!

Getting stronger means you have more muscle and this muscle requires energy, even at rest. That means strength training will increase the total number of calories you burn daily!

Bonus: unlike cardio activities, there is an “after burn” affect with strength training meaning your body will continue burning calories up to 48 hours. Oh, hell yeah baby!

#4. LIVE INJURY FREE!

Connective tissues (all that stuff in and around your muscles, bones and joints) adapt and get stronger and tougher with weight training, including where tendons attach to bones. All’s this means to you is these changes make it harder to get injured, which duh, is a really good thing! #resiliency

#5. SMILING HEART!

When lifting heavy weights, your blood pressure goes way up and blood flow is slightly impeded. Don’t get scared this is OK! This demand on the heart to supply blood under these conditions provides serious work to make that heart stronger. Strong heart?! Yes, please!

#6. STRONG A$$ BONES!

As we age, bone health becomes a topic of discussion. Women especially have a higher tendency of incurring low bone density with age. Heck, if you’ve experienced this, then you know the physician recommendation: exercising with weights!

Lifting weights will help offset and slow the progression of low bone density because lifting weights creates stronger, thicker bones. These stronger bones are harder to injure and will help fight off things like osteoporosis later in life! #booyah

#7. PREVENT DISEASE!

Strength training reduces your risk for a huge array of diseases, especially those related to inactivity. Have you ever heard of survival of the fittest? Well it’s true! Stronger people tend to live longer with a better quality of life


The benefits of strength training are endless. The next time you hit the gym, work with your trainer or pop in that DVD, make sure you add weights or body weight resistance at least one time! Not only will you look good, you’ll feel REAL amazing!

After all, don’t you want to have more time (and quality time) with the people you love doing what brings you the most happiness?

Remember: Lift weights and take care of yourself! This body’s the only one you’ve got!

 

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Keep Moving

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