As we age, our bodies change. Many of these changes can leave us searching for the fountain of youth. For me, weight training is the key to fighting the physical effects of aging.
Sarcopenia is the natural loss of muscle mass due to aging. On average, 3 to 5 percent of muscle mass is lost each decade past age 30.
Regular strength training is an effective way to combat the effects of age-related sarcopenia. I recommend that my clients weight-train at least twice per week. I encourage my older clients who’ve experienced a significant loss in muscular strength and tone to lift three to four days per week.
As we age, our metabolic rate decreases as well. Weight training helps to boost metabolism, which increases how effectively your body processes and utilizes food calories.
To support and maintain this improved metabolism, I encourage my clients to eat an appropriately portioned healthy meal or snack every two to three hours each day. Eating regularly helps maintain metabolism levels.
Cognitive function also decreases with age. However, studies show, increasing muscular strength through resistance training aids in increasing cognitive processes such as memory.
This improved cognitive function is due to the fact that weight training causes neurons to fire and activate in ways they typically don’t through an average day.
Communicating this fact helps motivate my clients who are not concerned with the physical appearance-related benefits of resistance training.
Of course, another benefit of strength training on the aging process is improved body composition and physical appearance. Having a toned and lean physique creates a healthier, more youthful appearance.
When designing weight-training programs for new clients, I focus on the major muscle groups. I include at least eight exercises that target the chest, shoulders, back, glutes, quads and hamstrings.
If you’re interested in beginning strength training as a means to combat the aging process, consult a trusted fitness professional to determine what program options are best suited for you.
This content was originally published here.