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The Surprising Power of Strength Training After 50

The Surprising Power of Strength Training After 50!

We know resistance training offers numerous health benefits, such as enhanced well-being, decreased risk factors for chronic illnesses, and improved ability in daily tasks.

Many adults over 50, even those who maintain an active lifestyle, often overlook these advantages due to the misconception that weight training is primarily for younger, fitter people or those that just want to be a body builder.

Power of Strength Training After 50, Wokingham, Berkshire

This couldn't be further from the truth.

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, adults, especially older individuals, should engage in muscle-strengthening activities at moderate intensity or higher, targeting all major muscle groups at least two days per week.

Research based on data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) spanning 1997–2001, linked to death certificate records up to 2011, sheds light on the significant impact of adhering to these guidelines on mortality rates. Older adults who participated in strength training at least twice weekly demonstrated a remarkable 46% decrease in the likelihood of dying for any reason compared to those who didn't engage in strength training.

Regular strength training correlated with a 41% reduced risk of cardiac-related mortality and almost a 20% lower risk of succumbing to cancer. Additionally, participants who incorporated strength training into their routines were more likely to maintain a healthy weight, engage in aerobic activities, and refrain from alcohol and tobacco use.

For individuals seeking to enhance their health, quality of life, and overall longevity, integrating weight training into their life is highly recommended.

If you're still on the fence about the importance of strength training, here are six compelling reasons to reconsider, particularly if you're over 50:

1. Distinction between Strength and Size: For individuals aged 50 and above, the emphasis should be on enhancing muscular strength rather than hypertrophy (muscle size increase). Utilizing heavier resistance for fewer repetitions can bolster muscle strength. Use rep ranges from 3-12.

2. Safety of Resistance-Training Machines: If you don't have a Personal Trainer then Resistance-training machines provide a secure environment for seniors to engage in strength training with increased resistance while minimising the risk of injury.

3. Benefits of Compound Exercises: Compound, multi-joint exercises like the deadlift, squat, leg press, shoulder press, and seated row enhance muscular coordination by mobilising multiple muscle groups to generate and control force across several joints.

4. Hormonal Effects: Resistance training promotes the release of anabolic hormones such as testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), facilitating muscle repair and growth irrespective of age.

5. Cognitive Benefits: Heavy resistance training stimulates the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which supports the growth of new neuron's and improves communication between existing pathways, potentially enhancing cognitive function.

6. Confidence Boost: Mastering lifting in the gym can translate into increased self-assurance in tackling everyday challenges, from lifting heavy objects to navigating physical tasks with ease.

To maximise the benefits of resistance training, it's recommended to work with weights that induce muscular fatigue within six to 12 repetitions. While all forms of exercise contribute to general well-being, regular weight training stands out as the best method for achieving the specific advantages outlined above.

For tailored guidance or to kickstart your strength building program, contact us today!


PT:U Personal Training, Pinewood Centre, Old Wokingham Rd, Wokingham, RG40 3AQ


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