Do you lift weights or do any type of strength training? If not, you should be. Lifting weights is not just a “guy” thing. Strength training is always an important part of any fitness routine but becomes increasingly important the older we get. It also can be done just about anywhere – home, gym and even on the road. Of course before you begin any new workout, check with your physician but the benefits to strength training makes it important to your overall fitness.
Strength training will:
- Boost your energy. The stronger your body is, the less likely it will quickly tire.
- Strength training helps to develop strong bones by increasing the bone density and may reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
- Strength training will help you to maintain your weight. Long, lean muscles helps your body burn calories/fuel much more efficiently.
- Strength training can reduce pain and other physical issues such as back pain, heart disease or diabetes. The stronger your body is the less likely you are to injure yourself.
There are many different ways you can strength train. A few of them are:
- Weight machines. Weight machines are especially good for beginners because the machine will assist you by “carrying” some of the weight. As you become increasingly stronger, you can add more weight to the machine.
- Free weights are great for strength training and are available in a range of weights from 1 pound up. When training with free weights, you will not have the assistance of a machine so it’s doubly important that you are very aware of form. If you are not sure of the correct form, ask for help.
- Resistant tubes are also great for strength training because they allow you to adjust the difficulty based on where you hold the tube. If you decrease the length of the tube, the resistance becomes more difficult. Resistant tubes are also great because they are portable. Toss one into your suitcase as you travel.
- Body weight. Yes, your own body weight is great for strength training. Think push-ups or squats.
When you first begin strength training, start with light weights or little resistance. Try to do 3 sets of 10 – 12 repetitions per exercise. This means if you are doing bicep curls with a weight, choose a weight that will not be super easy but not too difficult and complete 3 sets of 10 curls per arm. Exercise different parts of your body on different days. For example if you work your bicep and chest on Monday, choose squats, lunges and calve raises for Tuesday. You must allow body parts a day or so to recover from the workout.
Yes, you will be sore in the beginning but pay attention to that soreness. If you find any swelling or the pain is severe, you probably overdid your workout so cut back on the weight or reps. Do not strength train every day but do try to get 2 to 3 sessions in per week. Yes you CAN!
To your health,
Denise Sanger is a high energy business owner with over 30 years experience in the marketing area. She has transitioned her love of fitness and marketing into helping others succeed in getting fit and running their own businesses. She founded How To Stay Fit Over 50 to provide hope and support to others by motivating them to take the first step in their fitness journey no matter what age. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com