Exploring new ways to get fit and healthy as you get older may seem unconventional to many, but it’s important to keep your workout fresh. It helps keep it interesting and you may even learn something about yourself. Lifting weights is a great way to do that.
It may be more traditionally associated with younger people, but there’s no reason why lifting weights can’t help more mature people too. In fact, two or three 20-30 minute weights 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. We can, however, neglect our strength exercises. It’s vital, 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 falls, alongside 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, rather than more traditional cardiovascular workouts. Lifting weights helps increase your metabolic rate, helping you lose inches off your waist as a result.
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. Aim to complete two to three manageable sets of 10-15 reps. This will help 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. This is because they help support the body, holding it in the correct position. Once you feel up to the challenge, 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. This is especially important if you’re trying your hand at something new. Cooling down for five to 10 minutes is just as important. All of our fitness suites and gyms include posters featuring stretches and cool down tips. Make sure you look out for these.
If you would like more advice on strength exercises speak to one of our fitness motivators.