At what age do we start to lose muscle?
d) Over 50
a) Studies show that inactivity can cause muscle loss beginning in our late 20s…..Ouch.
Depending on your level of inactivity, this could make opening the pickle jar with flabby arms the least of your worries. Loss of muscle can lead to limited range of motion, pain, loss of stamina, and even heart problems.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, not in your 20s, 40s, or even as a senior. Along with healthy eating and continued activity, one of the best ways to fight flab, and other health threats, is through strength training.
1. Boost Your Metabolism:
Muscle burns more calories than fat, even when your body is at rest. So increase your muscle mass and kick start your metabolism into high gear.
2. Create Your Perfect Body Shape:
Strength training allows you to change your body’s shape naturally. All you need to do is zero in on specific muscles to help lift, tighten, and tone.
3. Become Strong:
Everyday tasks are easier when you’re stronger. Lifting the kids, carrying the groceries, yard work…life is easier when you’re strong.
4. Boost Your Confidence:
There’s nothing like strength to boost confidence. Couple that with remarkable changes to your body, and your self-esteem, and confidence will skyrocket.
5. Burn More Fat:
Cardio sessions are important, but along with burning fat, they can burn muscle. Adding strength training will help do more than just leave you with a smaller version of your current self. It will help burn more fat while building, toning, and strengthening your muscles.
6. Build Strong Bones:
Bone mass peaks sometime in our 20s, and after that we slowly begin to lose it. Regular weight bearing exercise, like strength training makes your bones stronger and helps reduce and even manage osteoporosis.
7. Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease:
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women over the age of 25. Strength training has proven to make the body leaner, which lowers the risk of heart disease. It also increases good cholesterol, while lowering bad cholesterol and blood pressure. These are just a few of the reasons why the American Heart Association endorses strength training as a way to reduce the risk of heart disease.
8. Improve Flexibility:
Muscles lose flexibility, and joints lose range of motion with inactivity and age. Why is that important? Because flexibility makes normal activities like bending, reaching, and twisting possible. Strength training helps increase flexibility, which reduces the risk of stiffness, injury, and pain.
9. Reduce Anxiety and Depression:
Got the blues? Studies show that strength training helps decrease anxiety and depression. That’s because endorphins are released when we workout. These body chemicals increase our feeling of well-being. Other mental health benefits of strength training include
- Improved memory
- Improved executive control
- Much less chronic fatigue
- Improved quality of sleep
- Improved cognition
10. No Equipment needed:
Using weights, bands, and other equipment is great, but not necessary. All you need to get started is your body weight. From burpees to triceps dips, and bridges to planks, all that’s needed is you.
What do think? Are you willing to give it a try?
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2. Osterberg, K.L. & Melby, C.L. (2000). Effect of acute resistance exercise on postexercise oxygen consumption and resting metabolic rate in young women. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10939877
3. Herrera, L. & Kravitz, L. (PhD) (2009) Yes! You do burn fat during resistance exercise. IDEA Fitness Journal. Retrieved August 4, 2014, from http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/burnfatUNM.html
4. Layne, J.E. & Nelson, M.E. (1999). The effects of progressive resistance training on bone density: a review. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9927006
5. Braith, R.W. (PhD), & Stewart, K.J. (EdD) (2006). Contemporary reviews in cardiovascular medicine. Resistance exercise training; its role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. American Heart Association Circulation Journals. Retrieved July 30, 2014, from http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/113/22/2642.full#
6. Overturf, Ryan. (BS), & Kravitz, L. (PhD) (2002) Strength training and flexibility: Is there compatibility? IDEA Personal Trainer. Retrieved July, 30, 2014, from http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/strengthflex.html
7. Santos, E., Rhea, M.R., Simao, R., Dias, I., de Salles, B.F., Novaes, J., Leite, T., Blair, J.C., Bunker, D.J. (2010) Influence of moderately intense strength training on flexibility in sedentary young women. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20940647
8. Ramirez, A. & Kravitz, L. (PhD) (2012) Resistance training improves mental health. IDEA Fitness Journal. Retrieved August 4, 2014, from http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/RTandMentalHealth.html