PTD0416_StrongerThe answer to that question is—absolutely! After age 40 or so, we all begin to lose muscle strength and bone density, and our hormone production slows. While these factors can contribute to a general decrease in vitality, weight training can increase your strength—and give you other benefits—no matter how old or weak you are when you begin. In fact, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends strength training for everyone 50 or older.

Starting a weight-lifting program may sound daunting, but the good news is that just starting—even with one-pound barbells—will have a positive impact. It will make you feel better emotionally, ease everyday tasks (ranging from rising out of a chair to carrying packages) and give you incentive to push yourself a bit further.

Here are some tips for starting out:

• Seek guidance regarding proper form (we’ll be happy to help).

• Start with light weights, and work up gradually to heavier ones.

• After your initial training weeks, increase the weight so that, while it should not feel extremely difficult to work with, it offers more challenge.

• Work out two or more times per week, but don’t exercise the same major group of muscles two days in a row.

• Always check with your physician before beginning a strength-training program, especially if you have high blood pressure.

The benefits of strength training go way beyond bulking up and being able to lift heavy grocery bags. For example, your balance will improve, lessening the chance of dangerous falls. You’ll also find it easier to walk more quickly and for longer distances, and you’ll discover that stairs are less of a challenge. Even your risk of bone fracture decreases, not only because you will be less likely to fall, but because strength training builds bone mass in the hips and spine.

If you are looking to optimize your physical and emotional health as you age, call us for an appointment. We can create a customized weight-training program for you that will give you truly significant results, no matter what your starting point.

Download April PTeDigest