Who says you need to lift weights to stay young and vibrant? What’s so special about muscle mass anyway? What’s wrong with growing old gracefully!
You decide … as we age, we lose muscle mass and the percentage of loss increases with each decade that passes. By the age of 60, the average person will have forfeited one-third of his/her muscle mass. The good news – you can reverse this with resistance training. There is no limit to our ability to add muscle to stop “the great decline.” One pound of muscles burns approximately 35-50 calories a day just by sitting there. A pound of fat burns about 3-5 calories a day. You decide: muscle or fat?
Bone mass also declines with age. Once again, dumbbells save the day. Strength training maintains or even increases bone mass as we age.
How about your balance and coordination? Again, this declines with age. A strong core and muscular foundation increases balance and aids in supporting your torso or “tower of power,” helping to prevent injuries that could debilitate you in the future.
Let’s get serious here. There is also a very wild rumor that strength training can even make your sex life more enjoyable. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to reshaping your body and transforming your figure into a younger, fitter and, yes, sexier you, strength training can do the job better than other forms of fitness. Not only does it improve your state of mind and ensure that you will look terrific, building muscle can actually improve sexual function.
The benefits of strength training are important for both men and women to help them stay healthy and offset the natural aging process, which can lead to sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass), osteoporosis (bone loss) and subsequent disability.
Start building muscle now for all these reasons and because it will improve your coordination, agility and balance. Do it because muscle is about staying active and being empowered, from the boardroom to the bedroom. Do it because muscle revolutionizes your metabolism, transforms your body inside and out, and it’s the best bet for reversing the aging process.
In short, do it because muscle is about all the things we associate with youth – and being strong is the new thin!
Kimberly Duke has been in the fitness industry since 1983 and is certified by both NETA and AFAA for Personal Training and Group Fitness She is certified to be a nutritional advisor, all while constantly updating her credentials and knowledge in this ever-growing field of fitness and health. Kim currently trains clients in Ellicottville at her studio in the 1887 Building, where she offers group fitness classes, too. She also trains clients in Springville at the new Springville Health and Fitness Center.