5 Weight Training Benefits for Women Over 50

By on December 6, 2020
weight training

It’s almost a given. Mention training with heavyweights to a person of any age and many of them will cringe and respond, “But I don’t want to bulk up.” It’s absolutely understandable that lots of folks have no interest in looking like a two hundred fifty pound powerlifter. But the fact is, weight training when done for the sole purpose of gaining muscle mass while trimming fat, will not only improve your physical appearance, it will also provide you with a far greater bone density plus improved cardiovascular health.   

Still don’t like the idea of working with steel plates and dumbbells? According to journalist Cassie Lei, you can easily substitute the iron for rubber resistance bands. That said, there’s no excuse not to introduce strength training into your daily workout routine. What’s even more encouraging is that with gyms either closed down or reduced to limited capacity during the age of COVID-19, you can easily create a home gym that contains a variety of both iron plates and resistance bands. 

Taken a step further, for relatively little cost, you can outfit your home gym with a pure water system such as the Brita sink filter, for instance, to ensure that you stay properly hydrated, especially during those hot weather workouts. When it comes to training, eating right, and staying hydrated are of the utmost importance. 

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But what are the known benefits of weight training for women over 50? These five answers might come as a surprise, but for certain, they will serve to educate and encourage you. One quick caveat before we get started: make certain to check with your physician prior to beginning any strenuous routine of both weight and resistance band training. 

  • Maintaining Muscle Mass

Says Lei, once you reach 40, muscles naturally tend to lose their mass. It’s a gradual process that continues all throughout your 40s, 50s, and beyond if left unchecked. What’s to blame? Biologically speaking, a reduction in the body’s ability to produce testosterone will result in the loss of muscle mass. Plus, it’s natural for women as they age to forgo physical activity since they tire more easily. It’s one of the major reasons physicians are constantly encouraging seniors to stay physically active on a daily basis. Simply said, muscles are a use it or lose it part of our physical makeup.   

However, a regular routine of strength training will not only help you maintain muscle mass, it will help you increase it. As you age, the percentage of fat in your body will increase in proportion to muscle loss. That’s why strength training on a daily basis will turn that fat into lean, mean muscle.

  • Say So Long to Fat

When some women hear that it’s possible to gain weight while losing fat during strength training, they make the crucial mistake of skipping it altogether. Who wants to put on weight after all? But here’s the truth of the matter. Muscle is far denser than fat tissue, which is why it naturally weighs more. You can actually lose inches in your waist, thighs, and upper body through a rigid regimen of strength training, and yet gain weight.  

Also keep in mind that if you gained a lot of fat weight during your 40s simply because you did not work out at all, it is not too late to lose those unwanted pounds via a strength training program in your 50s. Women store more fat than men (up to 10%), which is why if you wish to burn calories, lose inches, and perhaps go down a few jean sizes, it’s time to introduce strength training into your daily routine. You can say bye-bye to the fat while sculpting your brand new, youthful body. 

  • Reducing Osteoporosis Risk

Again, according to Lei, when women enter into menopause, the natural level of estrogen their body normally produces decreases. Estrogen is the stuff that promotes healthy, strong bones. When estrogen levels get too low, the risk of bone loss increases and the probability of developing osteoporosis becomes all too real. 

Since weight training is said to increase bone density, doctors recommend women over 50 introduce this method of exercise into their daily workout routine. What’s also highly recommended are vitamin supplements like calcium, Vitamin D, plus a separate multi-vitamin which also provides essential minerals. Diet is also a key factor in maintaining strong bones and reducing the risk of osteoporosis, along with plenty of pure, filtered water and proper rest.  

  • Healthy Heart

The heart is not an organ so much as a muscle. Therefore it only makes sense that weight training can increase your heart’s efficiency. Training with weights and rubber resistance bands will lower blood pressure and decrease cholesterol by reducing the fats that surround the heart and the plaque that can build up in the arteries.  

The American Heart Association is said to recommend training with weights at least twice per week. It also suggests that anyone who’s suffered a heart attack should seriously consider adopting a strength training program in accordance with their doctor’s advice. The weights you lift today can prevent the heart attack you might have otherwise suffered tomorrow. 

  • Better Balance

As women enter their 50s, they find it easier to lose their balance. Falls can lead to broken bones or even a debilitating broken hip. Training with weights not only strengthens your body’s center, or its core, but it helps you maintain your sense of balance for more than a woman who is of equal age and doesn’t work out. 

Growing old gracefully is something all women wish for. But women over 50 who wish to reverse much of the aging process while trimming down and gaining both muscle and cardiovascular strength, should invest their time in weight training. You can do this in the comfort of your own home. Just be sure to eat right and stay hydrated with pure water during the process. In no time at all, you will see a brand new you.

LivingBetter50 is a magazine for women over 50, offering an over 50 magazine free download for women with spirit!

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5 Weight Training Benefits for Women Over 50