Part I: The WHY behind strength training as you age

If you took the time to watch the WHOLE thing I don’t even think I have to write anymore…

This is not just about being able to lift up a meaningful being. This ad shows some of the benefits and results of strength training as we age.

Strength training continues to be recommend as part of an adults regular exercise routine at least two days per week. This is based upon a recent update of the W.H.O’s (World Health Organization) physical activity guidelines from 2020 (Reference: World Health Organization 2020 guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behavior). They even state that strength training is more beneficial than aerobic training based on its benefits of improved coordination, increased bone density, and improved quality of muscle. Of course, aerobic or endurance training has its benefits, but the strength work benefits outweigh those of aerobic work.

But WHY… Why is strength training so incredibly beneficial as we move across the lifespan? Because it allows us to do things with more ease and less risk of injury!

  • Doing that yard work job without getting hurt
  • Carrying in the groceries without fear of dropping them
  • Carrying the laundry up from the basement without needing a rest
  • Climbing the stairs going step over step
  • Getting up from a low beach chair without your hands
  • Getting up and down from the floor while playing with your kids or grandkids without needing to use the coffee table

As we slow down, do less, and are exposed to less challenge, our bodies adapt. Our muscles weaken, our tendons get thin and frail, our bones become less dense. Strength training works because it consistently exposes your body to challenges so it can adapt and become more resilient. It doesn’t only make our muscles stronger but it helps area’s of the body like the rotator cuff, the Achille’s tendon, the discs in your lower back, your hip joints and the list goes on.

Oh, and it has to be challenging. You can’t get stronger by lifting weights that aren’t challenging. You just need some supervision and guidance.

So… Why aren’t adults doing more of it? Fear and confirmed fear from trusted sources.

  • Medical professionals believing that lifting challenging weight is harmful on the joints of the body and unsafe.
  • Many people agree with this and it is then confirmed once they speak with their physicians or other healthcare providers.

Based on my personal, anecdotal evidence these are some of the most common barriers to reaching more people with this fabulous modality. I work mostly with very active people who are already exercising, they are just not lifting weights… and this is the primary reason.

Strength training can be incredibly helpful in so many ways for all walks of life, ages, and ability levels. I can beg and plead everyone to get involved in it but it is YOU and only YOU who can make it happen.

Find your why, hire some help, invest in your body… it’s the only one you’re given.

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