Are you over 50? Do you think you’re over the hill? We have news for you- you can’t stop now!
You can’t stop resistance work now – getting old is inevitable (the alternative is worse) but getting weaker isn’t an option.
The reason we lose strength as we age is because we stop building muscle; we stop working on it. Culturally and socially its very easy to say ‘it’s downhill all the way, whatever I do won’t make a difference, I can’t be bothered any more and it doesn’t matter anyway’.
Well, it does matter. It matters for many reasons. As we age our Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) falls so we burn calories more slowly. That means that ‘middle aged spread’ can easily occur. How do we keep up our BMR? You’ve heard it many times before – build and use your muscles. Keep your BMR up and weight gain is not inevitable.
Muscles support our joints. As we age the synovial fluid that coats our bones and joints starts to dry up. Dried joints deteriorate and get painful. This can be debilitating but is definitely helped by having strong muscles supporting these joints and keeping them moving.
As we age, if we don’t use our muscles they begin to deteriorate, a process known as sarcopenia. Of course, the best route is not to let this happen in the first place but if you do get some lessening of muscle tone and power – don’t worry – you can build muscle into your 90’s (maybe longer – nobody’s checked yet!)
And how do we all build and maintain muscle? With resistance work of course! Lifting weights – heavy and often with the correct number of reps.
Want another reason? You are much less likely to fall if you maintain a strong core and if you do fall, you can get up much more easily if you have strong, functioning muscles.
Your take home message? Please get old but please don’t get weak. And if you don’t know how to strengthen your core or which weights to lift – book a PT session and discover that getting old is nothing to fear.