Men and women of any age can benefit from strength training. Having a chronic medical condition doesn’t mean you can’t do strength exercises. If you’re living with heart disease, arthritis or diabetes, strength training may even help improve your condition.
Experts point out that many of the changes associated with getting older are actually due to becoming less active with age. Unless you regularly engage in activities to strengthen your muscles, you’ll lose about a half a pound of muscle a year in your 30s and 40s, and that rate can double once you turn 50. As you lose muscle, you lose strength, and that compromises your ability to do even simple things, such as carrying your groceries, getting up from a seated position or gardening. Your metabolism also slows down as you lose muscle, so your body will need fewer calories to maintain your weight, and you’re likely to gain excess body fat, unless you eat less. Excess fat contributes to a multitude of health problems: heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
It doesn’t matter, if you’re 50 years old or 80, studies show that strength training can help to maintain your independence as you get older, improve your quality of life, allow you to do the things you enjoy with less effort, strengthen your bones, improve control of blood sugar, elevate your mood, and reduce your resting blood pressure.