September 25th 2014
Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to maintain youthful energy and a healthy appearance well into your golden years? It’s like a magical fountain of youth! Except that it’s not that mysterious. Exercise, and in particular strength training, has benefits that will keep you looking and feeling younger for years to come.
Stave off Metabolic Decline
Metabolic decline is a natural part of aging. While you can’t stop the sands of time, you can slow or even temporarily halt the process of metabolic decline. How? Strength training! Resistance training has been shown to maintain muscle mass that is “metabolically active” – an essential factor in maintaining lean mass for the long haul.
Fight Bone Loss
Regular weight lifting does more than build strong muscles; it helps to build strong bones, too. Maintaining bone density significantly reduces the risk of osteoporosis; a debilitating condition that women are four times more likely to develop than their male counterparts.
Usually, when you read about balance and exercise, it’s about work/life balance and finding time for self-care. While that’s important, we mean literal balance here. Falling accidents are one of the most common causes of emergency hospital visits among older Canadians. Strength training to improve or maintain balance is an easy way to help prevent those falls.
Pounding away on the treadmill or swimming laps can both do wonders to keep the heart pumping. Strength training is a big part of lowering blood pressure and avoiding or controlling the effects Type 2 diabetes. Lifting weights has also been shown to increase HDL cholesterol (that’s the good one) and can lower the resting heart rate (also very beneficial).
It does sound like exercise is like a fountain of youth. So what’s the catch? Well, you have to work for all of these benefits. The sooner you get started, the better!