Exploring new ways to get fit and healthy as you get older may seem unconventional to many, but it’s always important to keep your workout fresh and interesting. It helps keep it interesting and you may even learn something about yourself that you didn’t previously know. Lifting weights in particular may be more closely associated with younger people, but there’s no reason why it can’t help more mature people too. In fact, two-to-three 20-30 minute weight lifting sessions per week could see you reaping plenty of benefits, while targeting all of the major muscle groups.
If you’re interested in using weights more as part of your fitness regime, why not give our beginner and intermediate Weights 4 All workouts a go? Meanwhile, our beginner Body Builder and intermediate level Pump it Up training plans are great for long term strength training.
Retain or Build Strength
As we get older, exercises we tend to favour include running, swimming or walking, all of which improve our cardiovascular fitness, but we can neglect our strength exercises. It is, in fact, vitally important, as it’s the only way we can slow down or reverse the decline in muscle mass, strength and bone density that happens naturally as the body ages.
Keeping the body strong in later life has proven to help prevent trips and falls, as well as minimising the risk of injury. Using free weights, machine weights, body weight or water weights are some of the best ways to help maintain a strong form and keep your body strong.
Increased Metabolic Rate
Weight gain is a common issue associated with getting older, but strength training can have a significant impact on burning calories, as opposed to more traditional cardiovascular workouts. Lifting weights helps to improve your metabolic rate which will, in turn, help you lose inches off your waist.
Set Realistic Goals
Weight lifting can be associated with feeling slightly sore or tired for a few days afterwards. With this in mind, it’s important not to strain or injure yourself early on and aim to complete two-to-three manageable sets of 10-15 reps, to ensure it doesn’t prevent you from carrying out normal everyday activities.
Take it Easy
Using the machines is a fantastic way to ease yourself into lifting weights as they support the body, holding it in the correct position. Once you feel up to the challenge, then you can progress onto using the free weights.
Don’t Forget To Stretch
Before beginning any workout it’s essential you remember to warm up thoroughly and stretch, especially if you’re trying your hand at something new. Cooling down for five-to-10 minutes is equally as important and all of our fitness suites include posters featuring stretches and cool down tips for our members, so make sure you look out for these.
If you would like more advice on strength exercises speak to one of our fitness motivators.