Strong Body –> Strong Mind
Some exciting research has been done at Penn State College of Medicine, the University of Sydney, and Columbia University. This research has revealed that there are major benefits from regular strength training for Longevity.
In looking back at the study of the Blue Zones, we realize that most centenarians didn’t go to gyms or pump iron. They used their natural movement in using their muscles to walk, to work, climb stairs, work in their gardens and do manual labor.
What’s So Mighty About Muscles?
Muscles are not only mighty and magnificent; they are critical to our health, fitness and quality-long life. It takes decision and effort to keep and develop muscle mass. Is it worth it?
Loss of muscle begins as early as 30 (some experts say even earlier) and steadily progresses at the rate of 1/2 pound of muscle mass per year, IF we don’t counter this loss with consistent exercise, good nutrition, and learning to counter negative stress in our lives.
In Marilyn Preston’s book, All Is Well: The Art (And Science) of Personal Well Being, she says there are very good reasons for strength training beyond just looking good in a swim suit.
Strong bodies are linked to Strong Minds.
Strength training builds confidence, muscle and healthy tissue.
Strength training helps prevent injury, stabilize joints and spark fat loss.
Statistics show that fewer than 25% of all American over 45 do strength training on a regular basis.
Eight Strength TrainingTruths – (Preston’s Book)
There is no age limit
Little children need to wait until their bodies and bones are strong enough to take the stresses of weight training. The rest of us can start at whatever age we are and expect to see big improvements over time. We are fearfully and wonderfully made says Ps 139. Even people in their 90s are weight training and getting stronger.
No Longer Can Our Excuse be Age
The number one culprit for this “Muscle Wasting” is not age. It sounds like a good excuse, but age isn’t actually the enemy. It is UNPRODUCTIVE physical activity. All exercise has its wonderful benefits. However, Strength Training is so often left out or not done correctly. I never thought it was too important myself before my beginning research for Fabufit. For sure I never knew how to do this kind of exercise in earlier years. Truthfully, I saw it as a waste of time. Hmmm. How wrong I was. ~ dani
Technique is Everything
It is essential to get proper training to get you started. There are even books and online videos to get you started if you don’t have a trainer. We need to be aware of our breathing, posture, core, and any limitations.
Lift Heavier Weight
This was an eye opener to me. I had gone a little over board last year and lifted too much too soon. I backed down significantly but have not gone back up. “You won’t get stronger lifting the same five or ten pound weight day after day, rep after rep.” Our muscles, just like our brains, must be challenged to grow stronger. Here is the guideline: Be able to do ten or so reps with perfect form, with the last two reps a real struggle.
In or Out of the Gym
Gym memberships are expensive. For John and I our Crossfit membership is worth every penny we pay. Before Crossfit, I was trained by Lina LaRock on how to use free weights at home, which worked well.
Body-weight exercises (squats, pushups, and lunges are a wonderful addition to any workout.) Learn how to do these body weights correctly first.
Expect Soreness but Beware of Pain
DOMS = delayed onset muscle soreness. This is something to expect after a good workout. It is good. Beware of pain, however. Pain is an indication of progressing too much too fast.
Know Your Body
Listen to your body. It will tell you if you should back off or slow down. It will also tell you if its okay to add more weight. “Spend a little time looking at anatomical drawings so you’ll know your kidney from your colon, etc. This will help you create and execute a balanced workout….” Preston
You don’t have to spend hours at the gym or walk miles and miles to see results. We love CrossFit because our workouts are always fast paced, efficient and varied. Find a routine that sparks joy.
Use it or Lose It
“It’s an inconvenient truth that as we are, we lose muscle and grow weak unless we make the effort to stay strong, flexible, agile, and juiced. It’s about working with what you’ve got for as long as you’ve got, and being grateful in between.” Preston
LOSS OF MUSCLE MASS
Fitness experts say that the true culprit stealing most of our beyond 50 fitness, health and wellness is “Muscle Wasting.” The condition has become known as “Sarcopenia”. This word in the Greek means “poverty of the flesh”. We can’t wait until we are 49 to begin addressing this issue.
Many health situations people over 50 face today are directly related to this muscle loss instead of age as many try to blame. Sarcopenia is also referred to as “Muscle Wasting”, says Fred Schafer, 56 year old young, lean fitness trainer. Fred says this causes your muscle to slowly leak away from your body a very small fraction each day. This is almost entirely lifestyle related. ~dani
Why not get started with the free Stretching Exercises provided below?