You probably know some of the benefits of strength training, such as how it increases your physical strength and helps you lose weight faster. What you might not know is that those benefits increase as you age. In fact, strength training can help women over 50 improve their metabolism, fight muscle deterioration, and maintain good bone health. Let’s discuss the health benefits as well as how to get started with a strength training routine.
Improve Your Metabolism
The higher your muscle mass, the faster your metabolism will be. One of the best ways to increase your muscle mass, and thus speed up your metabolism, is strength training. Good metabolic health is crucial to a number of health functions, most famously maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight. It also decreases your risk of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke, kidney disease, and fatty liver disease.
Fight Against Muscle Deterioration
On average, adults over 50 lose 3% of their muscle mass each year. When you have lower muscle mass, your balance worsens, you lose strength, and it’s easier to gain weight. In order to combat muscle deterioration and avoid these harmful side effects, older women should strength train a couple of times a week. You might even see results quicker than you expected as muscle mass starts to increase after 8 weeks of consistent strength training.
Keep Your Bones Healthy
Oestrogen, the hormone responsible for bone health in women, decreases during menopause. This puts older women at risk for osteoporosis, a condition where bones weaken due to a loss of minerals, such as calcium. If your bone density is lower, it’s easier to break bones and you may experience more severe side effects from bones breaking. Strength training can combat this natural loss of estrogen as women age and help prevent osteoporosis.
How to Start Strength Training
You might be wondering where to start and what level of commitment is needed to see these benefits. Strength training doesn’t have to include squatting 200 pounds at the gym or training twice a day. In fact, intense weight lifting could lead to more injuries. To start, check out strength training programs that rely on free weights, pilates, or other low to moderate intensity exercises. Here are 11 moves to get you started.
Now that we know what you should do during workout sessions, how many times a week should you train? It’s recommended to strength train two to three times a week–and to be consistent by showing up week after week. The frequency doesn’t matter as much as the consistency, especially when starting out.
If you’re looking for more guidance on developing a custom strength training program, check out our group fitness offerings. In our classes, you’ll learn even more strength training moves to improve your metabolism, bones, and muscle mass while av