When it comes to health and fitness there is one thing you should never shy away from and that is strength training. Don’t ever think that you aren’t strong enough and never ever allow yourself to believe that you aren't young enough.
As we get older we often allow ourselves to hide behind the shield of age. It allows us to protect ourselves within our comfort zone and prevents us from finding out just what our aging bodies are capable of. Have you ever told yourself "I can't because I'm older now, my body isn't what it used to be" "I'm over 40 now, I'll leave that to the youngsters!"
But what if I was to tell you that strength training isn't just something that is reserved for the body builders among us. It is not something that only the young can do and it definitely isn't something that you can never learn to do.
No, it is something any of us can do and indeed something we can begin to do at any age. Strength training is any exercise that produces a resistance against gravity. It can be anything from pushing barbells, to body weight exercises like push ups, squats, mountain climbers.
Not only that, but you can adapt every single exercise you do to suit your own level of fitness, ability, strength and flexibility.
And, it is from there you grow. As a result, it is one of the best things you can do for your aging body.
You are never too old to start something new, to indeed rethink how you use your body and evaluate your health.
In fact, some of the most impressive people that have ever entered my fitness studio have been in their 60’s and 70’s. And guess what, they were right there side by side, working out with people more than half their age. Doing what they needed to do, in order to, feel how they wanted to feel.
I believe that we have a duty of care to ourselves.
To look after our body, not for aesthetics but for health.
Both mental and physical.
And, I also believe it becomes more important as we get older to make this a priority for ourselves and aid the delay of illnesses and troubles that come with an aging body.
The more physically fit you are now, means the better chance you have of leading an active and happy life as you age. Because, there is one thing that no amount of nips or tucks or Botox can do, and that is reverse the aging process within our body.
So, why would you want to start strength training as you get older if it’s something you have never done before?
Strength training is an incredible way to improve balance, flexibility and over all wellbeing. This in turn improves the comfort of your every day functional movements (the movements you perform each day in order to live your life)
As soon as you hit your thirties you will lose 3-5% muscles mass per year as you get older.
“There are studies on men in their 70s who’d been lifting weights for 15 to 20 years and their muscles looked identical to that of 20-year-old men in terms of size and strength,” according to Professor Maria Fiatarone Singh, a geriatrician at the University of Sydney.
As can be seen here, if you do the math, that in itself should prove that it’s never too late to start.
Here are a few reasons why you should introduce strength training into your weekly routine.
- You can reverse the aging process of muscles:
Studies have shown that when we hit 70 we will have lost 45 – 50% of our muscle mass. Strength training will help you develop stronger muscles and can take less than six months to give you the equivalent muscle characteristics of someone 15 years younger.
- You’ll have more energy:
As we get older and suffer hormonal changes within our body, we have less energy and get fatigued quicker. Strength training is something that boosts your metabolism, increases the amount of free testosterone in your blood stream and that is something we all want to have. Yes ladies, I’m talking to you too.
- You will help strengthen your skeletal structure:
Arthritis and Osteoporosis are awful illnesses to suffer from but strength training can help protect your bones, prevent bone loss and may even encourage the growth of new bone. Consequently, you can increase your bone density by introducing a strength training program into your weekly routine.
- You'll improve your cognitive Health:
Recent studies have shown that strength training is particularly valuable to our cognitive health as we get older. If there’s anything that will make aging easier it will be having the ability in our bodies to move freely and the capacity in our brains to think clearly.
Given these points, the next time you stop yourself from trying something new because you aren’t strong enough or young enough. Stop.
You are strong enough and you are young enough.
Even if you have more candles than cake coming up on your next birthday, remember that the best project you’ll ever work on is you.
At Pepper Hustle we have consciously created our training programs around strength and conditioning for health. Along side this we have created a completely transparent, non judgmental, truly supportive community that we are so proud to have established.
And I repeat before I sign off,
You aren't too old and it's definitely not too late to start.
Co - Founder of Pepper Hustle
Here is my favourite full body exercise.