Now that I have been a personal trainer for well over 15 years, I can say with confidence that going to the gym and lifting weights has helped me age “gracefully”. And by graceful I mean that when I slip on the ice or bend over to tie my shoes, I don’t throw my back out or break a bone.
This may seem a bit dramatic to you but it’s not unheard of to have a woman in her 40’s (and I have even heard of some in their 30’s) get injured due to common acts of daily living.
If you are naturally thin, it’s easy to take advantage of Mother Nature and assume all is well in your world, however, lack of muscle and strength will not save you when life accidentally throws something at you and you HAVE to catch it.
Add a baby (or two or three) and things can get really nasty. Poor posture, lifting, carrying, bending, supporting; it all makes an impact on our bodies and doesn’t get any easier if we don’t train for it.
Just like you would train for a marathon, you should also train for life.
Studies show that once you hit the big 4-0, muscle mass begins to deteriorate at a rate of .5-1% each year. Sure cardio is great for building a strong heart but that won’t save you if you slip and fall.
Strength training is the golden ticket to reduce the signs of aging, support your joints and bones, reduce bone degeneration and reduce many age related conditions.
The best part? The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn at rest AND you increase your immune system, improving your body’s ability to fight of sickness and disease.
So the next time you have 30 mins and have a choice between cardio and weight training, look at the machines and dumbells and think. Cardio can be done anywhere at anytime. Go for a walk and you’re good but lift something heavy and challenge those muscles and suddenly, you’ve turned into a rock star who’s ready for whatever life has to give.