Strength training is one of the keys to maintaining good health and it helps you stay independent as you age. Beginning about age 30, men and women lose muscle mass at about the rate of 10 percent per decade until about 50, when that loss accelerates to 15 percent per decade, according to research.
Building strength can also help with the ability to stay independent as someone ages. “Strength declines rapidly if it’s not maintained,” says Seth Larsen, a Fort Worth-based primary care physician and certified strength and conditioning coach.
Resistance training can be part of the antidote, but picking up five-pound dumbbells and doing a few biceps curls won’t get you where you need to be.
“In daily life, you’re going to need to lift things bigger than five pounds all the time,” he says. “You might also need to catch yourself from falling, or get yourself off the floor. Both require far more strength.”
“In most cases, what people think of as strength training really isn’t,” says Chris Nentarz, a Buffalo-based physical therapist. “If you want to offset age-related muscle loss, you need to be working at an intensity of 60 percent to 80 percent of your maximum load [meaning the highest amount you can lift”. In other words, your body needs resistance to adapt and change.
Before commencing any strength training program, it is advisable to get clearance from your doctor.
It’s important to assess whether there are any muscular problems or bone issues that need to be worked with before starting a new regimen.
After that, finding a qualified trainer is a next advisable step. In my post, ‘Traits of a Good Personal Trainer‘, I list traits and qualities to look for when hiring a coach.
To reiterate, strength training is key. At the heart of a good strength routine is quality, compound exercises to help tone and strengthen. For a list of what exercises to do in the gym, click here.
The good news is that to make the strength and balance gains you need, you won’t have to invest a massive amount of time.
Some of this content was published here.