If you read ETNT Mind + Body regularly, you know we’re big fans of weight training at all ages, but we’re really big advocates of getting into the weight room as we age. From the age of 35, you lose between 3 and 5% of your body mass every decade. As Melina Jampolis, MD recently explained to us, many people by the age of 80 can expect to have lost approximately 30% of their muscle mass.
What’s the best way to make up for this loss of muscle mass? You guessed it: strength training. In addition, as we recently reported, lifting weights is also the best exercise for losing weight after 50 years.
Whether you lift weights or incorporate bodyweight exercises into your walks, performing resistance exercises is critical to building muscle and burning fat in your 40s, 50s, and beyond. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all adults should do some form of strength training twice a week in addition to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week.
But if you’re still not convinced of the benefits of weight training, take it from a top UK-based trainer. Joanna Dase, the COO of Curves Europe, an international fitness franchise, recently told the Daily Mail the exact exercises people should be doing each decade for the good of their bodies. Your answer for those over 50? Read on for what it is. And for more great workout tips, don’t miss out on the secret side effects of lifting weights for the first time, says Science.
Dase says people over 50 should stop focusing on what they used to do in the gym and focus more on focusing on their body and any problem areas. “Really listen to your body and pay special attention to areas that are weak or causing problems,” she told the Daily Mail. “This can be anything from tension, muscular imbalance, lack of flexibility or mobility. The key is to maintain the right techniques, activities, strength training and flexibility. But really, listen and respect your body.”
She says strength training is best for people over 50, although she does advise you to focus specifically on your hips and core. “It has been shown that this visibly slows the aging process,” she says. She also advises you to supplement your strength training with cardio “with daily walking” and states that “this is a great way to trim your midsection”.
“Now is the time to take your flexibility and balance program seriously, with stretching and focused breathing for 10 minutes each day,” she says. “Aim for a total of 30 minutes of total exercise per day.”
Do you want a great core exercise? See here. Curious about a great stretching program? Consider this amazing 10 minute stretching routine.
We can no longer agree with your recommendation to combine strength training and light cardio training such as walking. Walking helps you recover, relieve stress, and burn fat on days when you are not exercising.
But lifting weights is key – and it could make your life longer. A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research concluded that our risk of death increases dramatically in older adults (65+) with little muscle mass in their arms and legs. The results were particularly extreme in women. According to another study published in Preventive Medicine, older adults who lift weights twice a week show a 46% lower death rate compared to those who don’t.
Plus, you’ll have a stronger heart, less risk of high cholesterol, stronger bones, and it will even help you break bad habits. A study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research found that a group of smokers who tried to quit were twice as likely to have success when they participated in a weight training program.
Whether you’re an old pro or new to the weight room, here are some amazing workouts you can try right now: