JUST FOR THE HEALTH OF IT: Exercise for the ages

Print This Page

First Posted: 7/29/2013

I don’t care who you are, how old you are, what gender you are or what your ability is: you CAN achieve results.

In my opinion, the key to longterm fat loss success and to looking and feeling your best is through resistance training.

You can’t be strong without it, and loss of muscle tone creates a host of other issues.

Resistance training is not only weight lifting. You absolutely can do body weight training as your form of resistance exercise.

Resistance training allows your body to maintain muscle mass, increase muscle mass, and sets your body up to burn calories long after your workout is complete.

There are numerous benefits to strength training, as a young person and even as we grow older. It can be very powerful in reducing the signs and symptoms of numerous diseases and chronic conditions, among them:

* arthritis

* diabetes

* osteoporosis

* obesity

* back pain

* depression

The younger generation often takes resistance training for granted and tends to overlook the benefits of it and rely solely on “cardio” as their exercise of choice. This may be in part that they are unfamiliar with what to do and how to do it properly. Additionally, they see little benefit on the use of resistance training for fat loss and tend to think aerobic exercise is the “go to”.

This is not a good strategy.

And, older folks may have to consider modifying their plan. Your joints may be wearing down and your muscles weakening, but that just means you need to upgrade the way your exercise.

Here is…

20s: Your 20s are when you’re in your physical prime. In this age group, focus on large muscle groups and fundamental exercises like the squats, bench press, and deadlift. Keep weight high and reps low. Now is the time to build some solid muscle.

30s: With a solid 10 years of exercise under your belt it is time to branch out a little. In this stage of the game you can’t handle the late-night binge eating like you used to, so you must out-smart body fat. Full-body resistance workouts three days per week can help ward off fat gain.

40s: In your 40s is when you’re busiest, and the most stressed. Job, kids, little league, all consume your time, which leaves little time for exercise. Poor diet and poor sleeping habits are at their all-time high. Turn back the clock with shorter, more intense circuit training routines.

50s and beyond: These decades are hopefully your best yet. You have wisdom, time, and money. The downside: your joints are wearing down and your muscles are weakening. Stay strong and agile by exercise intelligently. Make smart modifications to some exercises that will enable you to continue with your strength training.

If you’re new to exercise regardless of your age, start slow, be consistent and, most of all, be safe.

-Tim Hlivia is the owner of Leverage Fitness Studio in Forty Fort.