There is one thing that we can do (from a fitness perspective) as we age that will make a huge difference in the quality of our lives. You might be surprised to hear this, but it’s strength training! We’ve been told for years that cardio is the way to go: running, dancing, biking, etc. Please don’t misunderstand; if you’re doing those actives, please don’t stop, and if you aren’t, you might want to consider starting. Cardio is great for your heart and lungs. But if you’re looking for the biggest bang for your fitness buck, strength training is the way to go.
To build a healthier body, you need a strong foundation. As we age, there are a number of physiological functions that decline, increasing your risk of osteoporosis, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and sarcopenia (loss of muscle). Benefits of adding strength training include increased bone density and stronger ligaments and tendons, but the goodness doesn’t stop there. Increased strength allows us to do more, with less pain, allowing us to be active and functional.
You don’t even need to do strength training very often or for very long. Just 3 times per week for about 30 minutes per session is very effective! Better yet, your own body provides all the weight you need for strength training. Compound exercises that utilize multiple joints and planes of motion engage a majority of your body – just like in the real world. You don’t need large equipment or a “fully-stocked” gym!
Don’t know where to go to add strength training to your routine? You don’t have to go far. ALL of my Express classes are designed to hit all those key points. Functional training designed to be applicable to your life. Short in duration. Muscular strength and endurance training: you pick high (Tabata) or low (Barre) intensity. Small-group training with lots of modifications and options given, and plenty of one-on-one attention. No yelling. No crazy moves that won’t help you in your daily life.
Train now for a healthier, more active future!