WHY YOU NEED TO MAINTAIN OR BUILD MUSCLE AS YOU AGEShawn Slevin
Many people believe that lifting weights & building muscle is for younger generation who are fit & healthy which is an understandable view. However, from an anatomy & physiological viewpoint it’s incorrect. As people age, they should continue being engaging in any sport, physical fitness or resistance training. In recent posts I discussed warm up’s which need to be Dynamic Movements & warm downs are all about relaxing & only stretching areas that feel tight.
Muscle loss speeds up as we age. This can impair strength, balance & mobility. Studies reflect that our bodies can still build muscle mass into our late 80’s. Muscle mass assists in many areas like increased strength & stability that saves you from a fall, staying independent to enjoy life more fully, burning fat to assist in weight maintenance (more muscle promotes burning more fat) & overall your holistic general well-being.
There are many options under the banner of holistic health e.g. nutrition, exercise, time relaxing, meditation, bush walks etc but one of the best things you can do for your holistic health is to work on maintaining or building muscle technically known as lean skeletal muscle mass.
As we age the key aspect becomes factoring in an awareness of areas like the following:
- Walking less distance outside or on a treadmill.
- Reducing the number of day’s that we exercise.
- Reduce the intensity by lifting less weight.
- Extend the break period between training sets.
- Reduce the number of sets & reps you do.
- Reducing the time of training sessions.
As we age, we can become wary of exercise programs. Many have fears they may get injured etc. Studies show the fears/concerns are unfounded. The benefits provided far outweigh the fear. My advice is to have a few sessions with a trainer or physiotherapist. This provides you a personalized program & you are shown the correct techniques as well. Initial programs can start with simply improving movement patterns, flexibility or balance. These will not only improve the specific aspect but will also build muscle. Programs are easily adjusted as you improve or gain more confidence e.g. adding light weight exercises, resistance bands.
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