It’s a longish title but then we still gave a long way to go once we hit 50 years of age, well that’s the plan anyway. We should be lifting weights throughout our life but I want to focus on why it’s important for us middle-aged folk to get under a bar and start weight training at 50 and over!
“We should be lifting weights throughout our lives”
Let’s start with the obvious then, if we lift weights and follow an appropriate and progressive training plan then we will more than likely get stronger. This is great because it means that we are obviously making “gainz” in our training and seeing any improvements is motivational. Consistency in training is vital at this stage in our lives and steady progress is the aim when weight training at 50 and over.
However, there are many other reasons why getting stronger and growing a little muscle is a good thing beyond squatting a new personal best. Being more muscular as we age dramatically reduces the risk of all-cause morbidity by a significant amount. That’s right, being more muscular reduces our risk of dying early! Not necessarily steroidal bodybuilding muscular, just more muscular than average for our age group.
“Weight Training at 50!”
This is important and I don’t think that it’s widely enough known or promoted. The scope and potential benefits to society and the health service as a whole are huge as an aging population continues to grow and consume the time and resources of an already struggling health care system. Something as simple as attending the gym 3 times per week and putting a little effort in can have a huge impact on the individual, society and the health care services.
We are living longer with more time spent in retirement. For most of us our upcoming retirement will be one filled with activity, time spent with the family and travel. In order to maintain a quality of life that allows us to do this and enjoy it we must remain fit, strong and healthy. As I’ve already mentioned above training just 3 times per week can make a significant difference. Please consult your doctor before embarking on any form of training.
We lose muscle mass more rapidly as we age which will leave us weaker and less mobile. To counter this we must weight train, whether that’s free weights or resistance machines makes no difference. Maintaining or even increasing our lean muscle mass as we age has to be a training priority if our goal is to have some quality of life in retirement or even before.
If you already train then great keep going! If not, don’t worry you can still start your journey weight training at 50 or whatever age you may be.
Being weaker means that everyday tasks become harder, lifting the shopping or climbing stairs. Eventually it’s a struggle getting off the couch!
Maintaining our range of movement through our joints and muscles is essential, if we don’t move our bodies through a wide range of movements then we will potentially lose that ability to move through those ranges and will become limited, stiff and immobile. Strength training is a great way to ensure that our muscles and joints remain mobile.
“Mobility; use it or lose it!”
Keeping our muscles strong and functional and our joints mobile will ensure that we maintain our posture too, a good posture suggests confidence, health and vitality. Clothes fit better and we generally look fitter and younger than our untrained, less muscular and poorly postured peers.
Weight training has also been shown to promote hormonal balance and boost our metabolism, it will also help to maintain our bodies’ systems and functions at a higher level.
If you are not sure how to start your weight training over 50 journey or need further advice and help then subscribe to The HIIT Works by Get Coached where you can access workouts, training programmes, healthy recipes and much more!
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If this isn’t for you then reach out to a good coach or PT at your local gym. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.