When we think of weight training, many of us think of it as a young person’s game. But why? Why does strength training have to be the property of 20-year-olds and 30-year-olds? Reality check: weight training isn’t just for athletes.
In reality, weight training has many benefits, especially for men and women over 40. If you are looking for a way to build strength, combat the common signs of aging, and feel better and healthier, strength training might just be the answer.
Here’s everything you need to know.
8 Benefits of Strength Training for People Over 40 Years Old
As we age, we start to lose muscle mass and strength. Unless we combat that, it’s a downhill slide.
Fortunately, there is a solution: strength training a few times a week.
The benefits of weight training after age 40 go far beyond aesthetics and strength. Here are a few of the perks you can look forward to when you strength train:
1. More Energy
Instead of reaching for another cup of coffee when you hit that afternoon slump, consider strength training instead.
They have shown weight training increases energy levels, promotes alertness and attention, and supports engagement. It does this by stimulating blood flow, promoting the release of anabolic hormones, firing up the metabolism, and enhancing our brain chemistry.
The result? More energy, a more positive outlook, and a general sense of well-being.
2. Better Range of Motion
If illnesses like arthritis or fibromyalgia run in your family, weight training is an excellent way to keep it at bay.
By lowering inflammation and promoting flexibility and range of motion, strength training can reduce pain, extend or restore range of motion, and keep you in shape to do the things you love as you age.
3. Reduced Body Fat
Losing weight after 40 can be challenging. As our muscle mass decreases, the metabolism slows, and that stubborn belly fat quickly becomes a fixture.
Luckily, strength training has been clinically proven to help promote weight loss.
Here’s why: strength training promotes muscle mass, and muscle burns more calories and fat even while your body is at rest. This means that even a few quick sessions of strength training each week will help your body work smarter, not harder.
4. Better Glucose Control
According to research published in the Internal Journal of Cardiology, strength training is more beneficial for blood sugar regulation in people with type 2 diabetes than cardio exercise. If you have Type 2 diabetes or have someone in your family who does, strength training may help you stay healthy, along with a healthy diet.
Based on this research, the American Diabetes Association has recommended that people with Type 2 diabetes should strength train at least 2-3 times per week, besides performing at least 150 minutes of vigorous or moderate-intensity activity per week.
5. Reversal or Slowing of Bone Density Loss
Like metabolism in muscle mass, bone density declines with age. This is a problem for a few reasons.
First, weak bones put you at a greater risk for bone fractures, decreasing mobility and limiting your quality of life. Second, weak bones impact your posture, which can create discomfort during daily activities.
Luckily, strength training has been proven to reverse and slow bone density loss. In fact, one study showed that postmenopausal women who took part in strength training programs for a year saw drastic increases in bone density–especially in the spine and hips.
6. Reduced Cancer Risk
Adults over the age of 40 are at a greater risk for certain types of cancers. Luckily, staying active is a great way to reduce your risk of cancer and promote overall health.
As you age, incorporating strength training into your weekly routine is a great way to stay healthy, stay fit, enjoy a better body image, and reduce the risk of dangerous health outcomes.
In fact, studies have found that strength training is more effective at prolonging life and reducing the likelihood of dying from cancer than cardio.
7. Better Mental Health
Feelings of depression and isolation tend to increase as we age, but they have shown strength training to improve confidence and boost mental health.
According to one study conducted by Harvard Medical School, regular exercise helps lessen the degree and incidence of clinical depression and promotes a more positive outlook.
8. Increased Sex Drive
Hormonal changes often mean that people in their 40s experience changes in their sex drive. This is especially common for postmenopausal women. Strength training, however, increases testosterone production and estrogen balance, which stands to boost sex drive and keep hormone levels consistent.
Alloy’s Focus on Strength Training and Active Aging
Here at Alloy Personal Training, we believe in equipping you with the skills and tools you need to live your best life. Strength training is one of those skills.
While we believe there is no one-size-fits-all model for physical fitness, we know that resistance training is a part of any well-rounded exercise routine, and we’re here to help you discover how it fits into your life.
Even if you have never taken part in resistance training before, our expert team will take the steps needed to help you prevent injury and enjoy a successful strength training experience. Rely on us to provide the support you need, help you start slow, focus on form and prevent injuries, and establish a routine.
Ready to learn more about our team or our program? Find a location near you today!