Strength training is the best way to build and maintain your lean muscle mass. Women experience a loss in muscle mass from both age-related sarcopenia as well as the decline of oestrogen and its anti-catabolic effects. Strength training is the single best way to try and mitigate the decline in muscle mass as well as improve your overall strength, mobility and balance.
1. Improves bone density: Strength training can also improve bone density, which is important for preventing osteoporosis. This will help to reduce the risk of fractures and falls.
2. Increases metabolism: Strength training increases your metabolism, by increasing your muscle mass which means that you burn more calories even when you’re not exercising. If you’ve noticed that you’ve put on a little bit of weight but you haven’t changed your eating habits, it could be because your metabolism has slowed down due to a decline in muscle mass.
3. Improves mental health: Strength training has been shown to improve mental health and boost self-esteem and confidence, because being able to lift heavy things is incredibly empowering! It can also help to reduce stress and improve sleep quality.
4. Increases functional ability: Strength training can help to improve functional ability, which means that you’re able to perform everyday tasks more easily. This can be especially important as we age, when we may experience a decline in physical function.
How to get started with strength training.
It’s important to start slowly and with an emphasis on technique before increasing the intensity and difficulty as you become more confident. Here are a few things to consider when getting started.
1. Consult with a healthcare provider: It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or injuries.
2. Choose the right equipment: You can do strength training with a variety of equipment, including free weights, resistance bands, and body weight exercises. Choose the equipment that works best for you and is appropriate for your fitness level.
3. Find a good coach: Consider working with a certified personal trainer or a qualified exercise scientist. This is the best way to completely transform your health and fitness.
4. Gradually increase intensity: Start with lower weights and about about 10-12 repetitions, and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as you become more comfortable and confident.
5. Stay consistent: In order to see results from strength training, it’s important to be consistent with your workouts. Aim to strength train at least two to three times per week, and incorporate a variety of exercises that target different muscle groups.
Qualified exercise scientist and personal trainer
Amy Elle Coaching