Tags: Health Topics | weight training | health | gym | middle age

Weight Training Important for People Over 50

Weight Training Important for People Over 50
Bodybuilder coach Mohamed Nassim takes part in a training session in a public park  in Giza governorate, on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital on June 15, 2020. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP) (Photo by KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Thursday, 25 March 2021 10:27 AM

While aerobic exercise burns more calories than strength training, you need both to be physically fit. Strength training or working with weights reduces age-related muscle loss, gives you more energy, and boosts your metabolism.

According to Verywell Fit, it can also lower levels of inflammation and pain. A recent study found that strength training is critical for improving your balance and can reduce the risk of falling by an incredible 50%.

Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program if you have not worked with weights or resistance bands before. And when you do begin, start slowly and carefully.

According to Verywell Fit, the National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends that older adults begin with two days of strength training per week allowing rest days in between to give your muscles a chance to repair themselves.

"The best way for untrained people to build muscles is to use lighter weight with more repetitions," says Dr. Gabe Mirkin, author of "The Healthy Heart Miracle" and a disciplined athlete and weight trainer himself. "You gain larger and stronger muscles by exercising against resistance just enough to effect the muscle fibers without causing injury. Working with larger and heavier weights if you are not a trained athlete can lead to damage."

Mirkin explains that after age 40, most people lose more than 8 percent of their muscle size each decade and by the age of 70, that loss nearly doubles, leaving them at increased risk for disability and disease.

"Lifting weights or using resistance equipment will strengthen your skeletal muscles and help prevent broken bones from falls while making your heart muscle stronger to reduce the risk of heart failure," says the Orlando-based expert.

According to Verywell Fit, the Department of Health and Human Services has issued guidelines encouraging older Americans to work all their major muscle groups when strength training. That means your exercises should target the abdominal area as well as your arms, back, chest, legs, hips, and shoulders.

If you are vaccinated and want to train at a gym, instructors there can offer tips on how to work all of these muscle groups safely and effectively.

While Mirkin prefers using machines for strength training, you can also use handheld weight and resistance bands to challenge the muscles. A qualified personal trainer can also come to your home and design a personalized strength training program.

Mirkin’s article on resistance exercises you can go at home can help you get started.

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While aerobic exercise burns more calories than strength training, you need both to be physically fit...
weight training, health, gym, middle age
Thursday, 25 March 2021 10:27 AM
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