I want to take the opportunity in this blog to speak about the benefits of strength training.
Most of my clients are over 35, and the majority are women in their 40s, where I fall myself. Science and practice show that once we pass the 35, it is even more important to include strength training in our routine.
Firstly, you might wonder what strength training is (also called resistance training). The definition by NASM is:
“Resistance training is a form of exercise that increases muscular strength and endurance by exercising a muscle or muscle group against external resistance. Resistance training can be performed by using bodyweight exercises, like push-ups or squats, or with exercises that use equipment like bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, etc.”
As we head into our 35s and above, we have several benefits if we follow strength training. Here are some of them.
Around 30 years old, women start to lose muscle mass. Strength training helps to slow down this process. Aerobic training isn’t enough to build muscle, lifting heavy weights is the best way to build muscle!
Women have a higher risk of broken bones as we age (due to the lowering of oestrogen). Strength training can help by remodelling your bones to help lower the rate of decline. Bones react to putting strain on your bones. Strength training is one way to do this, as well as impact activities such as plyometrics (jumping).
As we age, we have a greater risk of arthritis. Strength training gives you stronger muscles that, in turn, help to support your joints. I have seen this first hand with my clients.
Reduces the chance of illness
As with other forms of exercise, strength training helps reduce your chances of illness and disease. For example, it helps decrease high blood pressure and improve blood circulation.
Good for mental and brain health
Strength training has been shown to help people with anxiety. It has also been shown to improve cognitive function. And, of course, it helps produce the happy hormones, endorphins.
Personally, I get a feeling of being more powerful and confident.
How often should I do strength training?
Strength training should be done at least twice a week, covering all muscle groups. However, when I start working with a client, we focus on what they can manage at that moment. It can be overwhelming to go from zero to 2 or more weekly sessions, so I am happy to see them even once a week.
Some women are scared to start strength training due to incontinence. If you experience pelvic floor problems, please seek help from a pelvic physiotherapist. Also, have a look at the article I wrote on the topic.
Author: Lorna Wilson
Like what you see? Then send me a message or e-mail. We can meet up for a chat and find out how I can help you improve your training and help reduce injury risk.
06 460 377 74 / firstname.lastname@example.org