12 Awesome Benefits Of Strength Training For The Over 50s
Exercise is something that is all too easy to ignore when we reach 50. Our joints start to ache, and it feels better to sit down and relax.
It might feel good for a moment, but the more you sit around, the faster you are going to age. Those aches and pains get worse and worse.
Many of us over 50, tend to find excuses for not working out.
I am here to tell you that if you can move, there are no excuses. If you are not able to walk around, do chair-bound exercises.
When you get up in your 40’s and 50’s, exercise becomes infinitely more important to your health and well-being.
In fact, it’s the age we should be doing more exercise, not less!
Exercise helps you stay mobile and also gives you energy that often starts to dwindle with age.
If you are 50 years of age or older, then this is for you.
I will tell you 12 benefits of strength training for people in their 50s.
I don’t care if you’re 90 years old , you can still use the concepts that I’m going to give you to improve your life in multiple ways – 12 ways, to be exact.
The 12 Benefits Of Strength Training For Over The 50s
(there are actually hundreds of benefits, but I’m going to tell you about the 12 most important ones)
Benefit 1. All your muscles will strengthen
You’re going to strengthen all your muscles. I don’t care how out of shape you are right now; when you start doing some version of strength training two or three times a week, your muscles, all of them, are going to get stronger.
Even muscles that you aren’t working out will usually get stronger because you’re working out other muscles.
Benefit 2 – your bones will get stronger
You can look forward to stronger bones. You may think I’m as old as Methuselah….my bones can’t get stronger. But you’re mistaken.
Regardless of your age and current condition, you can fight off osteoporosis, and osteopenia, by lifting weights.
This will put stress on your bones and the muscle attachments on your bones, and it will cause your bones to get stronger and dense in a good way.
Benefit 3 – improve your sleep.
An overlooked benefit is better sleep. When you lift heavy things two or three days a week, you’ll sleep better every night of the week.
Benefit 4 – correcting your insulin sensitivity.
You should enjoy increased insulin sensitivity. As you lift weights, you’re going to build more muscle.
The more muscle you have, the more places your body has to store glucose, sugar, making you more insulin sensitive, which is a very good thing, believe me.
Benefit 5 – reduce your risk of dementia.
is you’re going to decrease your dementia risk, both Alzheimer’s and all other kinds of dementia.
You’re going to increase your ability to remember things. If you’re having trouble with that, start lifting your weights.
Benefit 6 – decrease back pain.
Another benefit you’re going to glean from lifting weights two or three days a week is, you’re going to decrease your chronic back pain and chronic neck pain.
Many people with chronic back pain think, oh, I shouldn’t lift weights. I have chronic back pain.
The exact opposite is true. Obviously, it goes without saying – start out light and very slowly build up!
Maybe you need to start with a personal trainer for a few weeks to learn the ropes and learn how to lift safely.
However, as you increase the amount of weight you’re lifting, you’re going to actually lessen your chronic pain in all your joints, especially in your back and in your neck.
Benefit 7 – your overall quality of life should improve
The next thing you’ll notice is an improvement in your overall quality of life. The sun is gonna come out. You’re going to look at everything through a different lens.
There’s an ample amount of research to show that your overall quality of life improves if you are strength training on a weekly basis.
Benefit 8 – increases your lifespan considerably
The next thing you’re likely to notice, is an improved lifespan and, maybe more importantly, an extended health span.
This is how long you live, while also benefiting from good overall health.
You obviously want this and you’ve got to work out to get the maximum amount of this!
Benefit 9 – lose that nasty visceral fat
The next thing you will notice is that your visceral fat, the fat inside your belly around your organs (the most unhealthy fat of all) will drop away quicker if you’re strength training.
Now eating a very low carbohydrate diet is also likely to reverse your fatty liver, fatty kidney, and fatty pancreas. However, if you add strength training to it, that dangerous fat will go away even quicker.
Benefit 10 – your risk of bad falls will decrease
The next thing you’ll benefit from is a decreased risk of falling.
Now, as we get older, and I’m not that old, and I know you maybe aren’t old either – however, as you get older, your risk of falling goes up.
That’s just common knowledge. However, when you’re doing routine strength training, your risk of falling decreases considerably.
Also, your risk of breaking something if you fall goes down with regular strength training.
Benefit 10 – improved cardiovascular health
A fantastic benefit is that you’re going to have increased heart health. Anytime you’re lifting weights with these muscles, your heart muscle has to pump a little harder.
Cardiovascular can essentially be any exercise that gets your blood pumping and elevates your heart rate. This improves circulation and promotes the flow of energy through your body.
However, if you already have pre-existing heart trouble, please check with your cardiologist, check with your family doctor, and maybe work with a personal trainer. That ensures you can slowly increase or ramp up the intensity of your strength training.
But overall, your heart’s absolutely going to benefit from strength training.
Benefit 11 – improved flexibility
One thing you’re going to realize is that you’re more flexible when you routinely strength train.
There’s a myth out there that, oh, if you lift weights, you’ll get all ‘muscle-bound’. That’s nonsense. That’s not true at all.
There’s ample research to show that you actually become more flexible, and your joints become more supple in a good way if you strength train regularly.
Flexibility exercises also involve things like stretches to maintain your body’s range of motion as you age.
Regular flexibility exercises can help prevent joint pain and keep you mobile later in life.
Benefit 12 – improved mental health and mood
Last but certainly not least is an overall benefit to your mood.
If you suffer from chronic depression or are down in the dumps a lot, lifting weights regularly will start to lessen the severity of your depression.
That is something that all of us could benefit from, especially as we reach middle age. As this is a time when many 50-year-olds can start to experience depression
So to summarize
There may be 60-year-olds out there lifting 800 pounds with one arm. This is not a requirement.
The key concept I want you to take away is that regardless of how old you are now and regardless of how out of shape you are now, how inflamed you are, how miserable, how achy, how weak you are right now, your body is still the body of an athlete.
And if you use strength training, you can improve it in all the ways above.
Strength training for you right now may mean getting those two cans of peaches and heavy syrup out of the back of the cabinet and using those as your weights.
You could use those as your starting weights.
Regardless of where you’re starting from, you might start out buying two one-pound weights online and then slowly build up as you build your muscle strength.
So it’s all right there. All you gotta do is start doing it.
I know that my overall health has increased greatly since I made lifting things a part of my daily routine, and I think you’ll notice the benefits too if you try it even for 30 days!
6 thoughts on “12 Awesome Benefits Of Strength Training For The Over 50s”
I do believe in cutting back some after 40, even, depending upon the health of your joints, in particular, but I agree that it’s important to stay active, both mentally and physically. Stretching is very important, since it helps keep our joints limber, and without those, we aren’t able to do much. YouTube is a great place to find exercise videos, but make sure to verify that the person is qualified to teach on the subject, otherwise you can do the moves improperly, and cause damage.
I tried a short stint with a personal trainer last year. She was a young mother, and I don’t think she really understood what is safe or appropriate for protecting the joints. I have some mild problems with my knees, and she kept pushing me to do squats, for example. While these really cause a burn in the quads, and I saw some toning there, they also caused my bad knee to swell.
SparkPeople.com recently posted a short lower body workout video with no squats or lunges. That is a far safer option.
I used to wear wraps on my ankles whenever I go for walks. (I busted up my ankles on sports when I was younger) I would find myself being in more and more pain. After consulting with the doctor, he prescribed more calcium in the form of milks. I chose almond milk as its what my daughter likes as well. Slowly I was coerced into removing the wraps. To my amazement, I suffered less pain than before! Now the only pain I had was the lack of exercise.
What I am trying to say is. Being too careful can harm you. Always check with a doctor, even if you think its nothing major. In my case I was making myself much worst by reducing my circulation on my evening walks out.
I do think proper stretching and warming up is essential. I mostly do walks and treadmills nowadays and the occasional walkathon though.
I started kickboxing at 42 and have been training ever since. I’m now 52 years old and I have noticed that it’s taking a lot longer to recover. Kickboxing training is quite a strenuous form of exercise and I’ve found that training three days a week is just a bit much, however, training two days a week is perfect, for me.
I also started to take some high quality supplements, several years ago, which seem to be having a positive affect with my recovery rates and energy levels. Don’t know how long I’ll keep training, but for now it seems a good thing for my body so I’ll keep going at it two days per week.
By the way, I like your point about finding excuses not to train, “I’m here to tell you that, if you can move, there are none.” Well said and so true; awesome article!
I really struggle with this. I eat right. Try to get at least 6 hours of sleep at night. I usually drink my 6 – 8 glasses of water every day. I take my supplements every day. I even drink kombucha and kefir to get my probiotics, I just struggle to find the time to exercise regularly. I didn’t even make my usual New Years resolution this year to exercise more because I could not figure out how to work it into my schedule. I am hoping as the year goes on it will get a little less busy so that I can make this very important change in my life.
I аm in my mid fiftiеs аnd I cоnsidеr mysеlf in thе bеst shаpе оf my lifе nоw еvеn thоugh I hаvе bееn аctivе in spоrts аnd in grеаt shаpе my whоlе lifе. 50’s аnd 60’s dоеs nоt mеаn “sеniоr”! Strikе thаt wоrd frоm yоur vоcаbulаry. If yоu think оf yоursеlf аs оld thеn yоu will аct оld. 50’s аnd 60’s mеаns midlifе tо mе – thе primе оf yоur lifе. I bеliеvе in а hоlistic аpprоаch tо fitnеss. Thеrе is а mind bоdy cоnnеctiоn аnd in my оpiniоn tо bе in tоp shаpе аnd in tоp hеаlth rеquirеs nоt just physicаl but mеntаl wеll bеing аlsо. Its аll аbоut аttitudе, think аnd аct yоung аnd yоu аrе yоung. Thе plаcеbо еffеct is rеаl аnd yоu cаn lеt it wоrk fоr yоu by hаving а pоsitivе, еxcitеd оutlооk оn lifе аnd bеliеvе in yоur hеаrt аnd sоul thаt yоu cаn imprоvе yоursеlf thru еxеrcisе оr yоu cаn lеt thе plаcеbо еffеct wоrk аgаinst yоu by bеing а pеssimistic victim