Strength training is important to prevent the rapid decline in body strength as you ageJuly 18th, 2022
Experts say, and we agree, that the best way to reduce the risk of premature ageing is having the knowledge of how our body works and what we can do to make sure that it works efficiently. Loss of muscle mass as you age is responsible for a decline in the ability to perform everyday tasks like walking or climbing. Strength training is vital to prevent the rapid decline in body strength as you age.
Sarcopenia – what is this and how does it impact you?
Sarcopenia is the name for the age related decline in muscle strength, mass and functioning. Whilst it does tend to be associated with the older generation, middle-aged people may also experience age related sarcopenia.
Symptoms of sarcopenia include:
- Weak muscles
- Difficulty with mobility including climbing, walking and standing
- Lowered energy levels
Age is not the only cause of sarcopenia – lack of exercise and a poor diet will also contribute.
Muscle mass in humans peaks at around 30 to 35 years old after that, there is a natural decline. For women over the age of 65 and men who are over 70, there is a rapid decline. 30% of adults over 70 develop problems with mobility, for example, getting out of a chair or bed. The elderly develop problems with performing everyday things that we have taken for granted in our youth.
Understand the science of strength training
As we age, we have functional and biological limitations. Our bodies respond to exercise differently in comparison to when we were younger even for championship athletes. Movement, strength and balance are important at any age, understanding the science of strength training will help you realise the importance.
Strength training (aka resistance training) can prevent frailty and improve mobility
Strength training, or “resistance training”, encompasses activities such as weight lifting, push ups, band training or other exercises that make the body use strength to keep fit. It allows someone to retain their independence and a good amount of strength. It can also prevent becoming frail and improve mobility.
Strength training activities include:
- Using resistance bands
- Lifting free weights
- Doing body weight exercises such as push-ups, squats, and yoga
- Using medicine balls
What happens to your body when you do strength training?
Our bodies burn ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) when we weight train or use strength during exercise. ATP is a molecule that carries energy to the cells. This burned energy is replenished through a number of coordinated chemical and metabolic responses through the body, which in turn ignite short-term chemical changes in the DNA of muscle tissues. These then become tuned to specific proteins that support sugar and fat metabolism.
Physical function can be best improved by a combination of walking and resistance training.
As we age we do have functional and biological limitations, the way our bodies respond to exercise is different compared to when we were younger even for championship athletes. Yes, when you are 70 you won’t be as strong as you were at 30 but that’s a natural process in your life cycle. However, you can retain a lot of muscle strength as you age if you work at it and understand how your body works and responds to exercise. A strength training programme for one person may not be as effective as for another, your goal is to find what works for you and adapt accordingly. For example, you may have a health condition or disability in which case it is important to take professional advice before you start incorporating strength training into your daily routine.
Get moving and find something right for you
Getting to the gym and liftings weights may not be possible or something you are motivated to do but there are alternatives. There is a lot of information available about home workouts incorporating hand weights and resistance bands. Circuit training, yoga or Tai Chi also incorporates resistance movements. The important thing is to keep moving and there are fun ways to do it, for example:
- Physical games
- Going on day trips that involve walking
- Playing games with your grandchildren
As we age it is normal to have problems with flexibility and balance so it is important to be mindful when you move your body.
Take a look at these useful links to help you incorporate strength training into your daily routine.
- How to do seated strength training
- 18 of the best ab exercises you can do standing up
- How to get a full body strength workout at home
- Weight training – improve your muscular fitness
- Strength training – Get stronger, leaner & healthier
Products worth mentioning for your fitness:
NitricPro™ is a unique pre-workout drink that contains Nitric Oxide. This works to support cardiovascular health and boost nitric oxide levels, which plays many important roles inside the body. It is perhaps best known as the molecule that relaxes the inner lining of blood vessel walls (the endothelium), which improves blood flow.
The healthy and unique alternative vitamin C post workout drink.
Not sure what to drink after workout sessions? Give your body that extra boost to speed up the recovery time after a workout with a high-quality post workout Vitamin C drink containing the anti-inflammatory ingredient methylsulfonylmethane and muscle energy boosting GMS-Ribose.
Muscle Bioregulator (Nature’s Marvels™)
Nature’s Marvels Muscle Peptide Bioregulator works to regulate the metabolism processes in the muscles, helping to improve their physical efficiency.