Why is Strength Training Important After Age 40?

Why is Strength Training Important After Age 40?

Our bodies are changing all the time at every stage of our lives, and at no point in your life are you at greater risk for chronic diseases and other illnesses than when you get older. There are 49 million people in the U.S. 65 or older and in less than 50 years, that will increase to 98 million. Many of them will suffer from one or more of a variety of conditions that will affect their quality of life. Often, the problems you deal with as you age start as early as your 40s.

Over time, many processes in your body will start to break down, including the slowing of your metabolism and the reduction of hormones, and any conditions that started during middle age will likely only worsen if not managed. To get ahead of a number of the conditions you may face as you get older, physical fitness can play a major role, and strength training should be a part of that solution. To explore the reasons the training can benefit, let’s look at the common health issues aging brings, how strength training helps, and what types of training are available. 

If you live in Washington, DC and you need strength training to stay healthy, the physical therapy team at Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation LLC can help.

Common health issues associated with aging

While millions of 40 year olds are pretty healthy, there are a number of conditions that start getting spotted around this time, including osteoarthritis, hypertension, depression, and anxiety. Hypertension in particular can lead to several other chronic conditions later in life, such as heart disease and stroke. However, diabetes is a condition that has an increased risk with age and can also lead to heart disease, as well as many dangerous complications like diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy, and kidney disease. 

How strength training helps

Also referred to as weight training, resistance training, or muscular training, this is any method that uses equipment or your body weight to build strength, endurance, and muscle mass. Using one or more groups of muscles, you perform specific tasks to target areas of the body to stay healthy. 

As you get older, your body lowers production of hormones and your metabolic rate is reduced, both of which leads to weight gain and increased health risks. To keep your body working more efficiently, strength training helps you burn calories more effectively, reduces fats that can lead to disease, decreases fall risks, improves heart health, and helps you manage blood glucose (blood sugar). This can help your body at any age to stay healthy, but can be vital to aging in good shape.

Types of strength training

Strength training is more than just lifting weights, you can get healthy results doing a variety of different exercises. Muscular hypertrophy and muscular endurance training focus on muscle growth and building your muscles to exercise longer, but other methods like circuit training use a variety of exercises to condition the whole body. 

In addition to using free weights, you can achieve results using your own body as resistance (push ups, squats, pullups, lunges), use resistance bands, hydraulic weight machines, and suspension equipment (anchored ropes and straps). Whatever method you use, it can prevent conditions from getting worse, keep bones, muscle, and tissue strong, and help you stay more active longer.

If you’re in your 40s or older, now's the time to take steps to ensure you stay healthy for longer. Make an appointment with the team at Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation today to see what their strength training can do for you.

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