Tuesday, February 15, 2011

If You Are Over 50, You Can Be Stronger In 10 Years Than You Are Now

Arthur Saxon performing a bent press.Image via WikipediaLately I've noticed a lot of fitness videos and programs aimed at those of us over the age of 50.  It seems that these programs have good intentions, however the exercises and fitness routines they recommend are more geared toward people in retirement communities.  Just because you are over 50, you don't have to decrease your exercise intensity to the point of working out with resistance bands and light weight dumbbells.

If you are in poor physical condition, using resistance bands, and light weights is a place to start in your quest to improve your health and fitness level, but it isn't a place for you to stay for very long.  The ripe young age of 50 is where you really need to concentrate on building and maintaining your muscle mass and the best way to do this is with strength training.

Building muscle is important because you naturally start to lose your muscle mass at a rate of about 1 lb per year beginning in your 40s.   Muscle is that component of your body that makes your joints strong, keeps your metabolism high (which makes losing weight easier), and helps you remain youthful and strong.

Regular strength training can slow and even reverse muscle loss.  Studies have shown that people in their 80s and 90s can build muscle and get stronger by weight lifting.  I'm a firm believer in regular weight lifting.

I'm in my fifties and I've been weight lifting for over 30 years.  I'm stronger and more fit than I was in my 20s.  If you are over 50, starting a regular strength training program is one of the most important things you can do for your fitness.  If you start now, by the time you are in your 60s you can say, "I'm stronger now than I was 10 years ago."  Wouldn't that be awesome?


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