Lift weights?? No! I am 50 years OLD man! Or menopause is not the time to lift!

Manvit Kohli
Manvit Kohli

 | 1 minute to read
Exercise Science

Lift weights?? No! I am 50 years OLD man!

Or menopause is not the time to lift! If you think you are getting old, you better read it. If you think age is just a number, I would recommend you to read (just in case). Come middle age, many people fear it’s “too late” to begin an exercise regimen, or feel they have been inactive for too long to reap the benefits of one. That’s NOTT THE CASE!! Remember what I say- Movement is medicine and lifting is for all. Even later in life, we can make positive behavioral changes that will promote weight loss, longevity and vitality. Since ageing is a process inevitable, none of us are blessed with vitality of that like Bhishm Pitama (watching too much of Mahabharat these days for sure but yeah the article too is inspired from there. So let’s give him the credit. ) So ageing- we cannot totally control it. Totally yeah that’s what I said, but what we can do is make the right choices for our food and move a little more, lift a little more. According to nearly all the researches available out there, 3 things that begin to change as we age: 1. Decreased- aerobic lung capacity 2. Declining muscle mass 3. And the ever increasing body fat These key things seems to become the most obvious in our 50’s. Of Course the question prevails- What can we do about it? The benefits of resistance training as you get older are truly impressive. If you're looking to slow down ageing and stay younger and vibrant through your 40s, 50s, 60s and well beyond, then signs of science scream again and again that resistance training with weights is vital. Improved brain function, health, metabolism, blood sugar control and overall decreased risk of all-cause mortality are just some of the headline benefits of lifting weights The benefits of weight training and resistance exercise for people in your age group are numerous, but here are the main reasons why you should be working out... ✅ Increased -muscle mass. ✅ Increased -mobility and functionality. ✅ Improved - bone health. ✅ Improved - cognitive function and health. ✅ Improved - glucose control and nutrient sensitivity. ✅ Better - sleep So how do we train in our 40s, 50s and beyond? The goals are almost always different to those in their 20s and early 30s. The latter often come in with one goal on their mind, a complete physique transformation. The fact is, we want to look good, but also feel a hundred times better than we did in our 20s and early 30s, which is where our lifestyle choices left us in a physical and physiological mess. That being said, whether someone is a complete beginner or an advanced trainee, here are a few things that are highly applicable while keeping effective training in mind: 1. Staying injury free Keeping yourself healthy should be a number one priority, no matter what your age group. 2. Incorporate lots of variety in training One of the most important variables in hypertrophy, to incorporate lots of variety in your training. Rotating through exercises with different implements can be a good way to stay healthy and strong. Variety should not just be limited to exercise choice, but also exercise order. 3. A different approach instead of heavy load Building on the previous point, one of the best ways to train as you age is to find ways to increase the difficulty of exercises. Besides adding reps, experimenting with different styles of tempos (pauses, slow eccentrics, controlled tempos etc.) is highly effective in reducing joint stress, providing a different stimulus, and creating a greater muscle-building stimulus. 4. Quality over quantity Often with beginner lifters above 50, in particular, focusing on perhaps four to five exercises per workout at the maximum is all that’s needed. Simply picking an upper body 'push and pull' session, and lower body 'push and pull', rotating, and keeping an eye on quality is an excellent way to train. 5. Warm up, mobility drills and stretch Spending 10 to 15 minutes a day on mobility and flexibility will pay huge dividends when it comes to staying healthy as you age. This is critical as the ability to ‘get away with' poor posture and technique diminishes, so the need to be warm prior to, and during training, is important. 6. Keep active and enjoy it Simply staying active outside of the gym is vital, and often overlooked. So finding an activity and sport you love and can enjoy with others will keep you active for decades, and help just as much as the three hours in the gym can. 7. Rest recovery: Speaking of rest and recovery, these needs change as we age. Recovery and growth of muscles happen when we sleep. In fact sleep may be the most important aspect of it. Look for ways to improve ability to sleep by making changes in your environment around bed time like comfort, darkness, quite, temperature. 8. Nutrition- the utmost important aspect. So eating the right combination of protein fat and carbs has never gone out of style. Remember to include 1/3rd rule of the plate if quantified nutrition is not something you can follow right now. 1/3rdof your plate should be carb, 1/3rd of fibrous veggies and 1/3rdof good source of protein. What about training for woman with menopause symptoms? After women reach menopause, and the potential for osteoporosis kicks in, many women tend to shy away from strength training for fear of injuring themselves. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! That is the PERFECT time to strength train! Studies have shown that in post-menopausal women, strength training preserved bone density while improving muscle mass, strength, and balance in postmenopausal women. Age is only a number. Women don’t get old and thus have to stop strength training, they get old WHEN they stop strength training! What Exercises Can You Do? Complete both resistance and cardio-based activity. Have a routine with specific days and times, allowing it to become part of your week. Perform exercises and activities that mimic and develop ADLs – squats, sit to stand, curl and press, walking, reach exercises, overhead activity etc. Compound exercise is best – squat, chest press, shoulder press, push-ups, leg press, running, walking etc… You may be a bit slower and have less strength so warm up and cool down are imperative. Think if you have any conditions and see a doctor first Aerobic activity Aerobic activity gets your heart beating. You’ll want to be anywhere from 50 to 85 per cent of your maximum heart rate during aerobic activity. Brisk walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, cycling, water aerobics, hiking, heavy gardening, jumping rope, stair climbing, tennis, rowing, etc are some types of aerobic activity to consider. Weight training Weight training can strengthen your bones and your muscles, and it’s an essential part of any exercise program. This type of exercise can incorporate weights, elastic bands, or machines. Below are some great weight training ideas. * Squats and push-ups can be done with and without weights. These strengthen the chest, arms and lower part of the body. * Planks are excellent for the core area of the body, and a simple plank works more than 20 muscles in your body. You can do against-the-wall planks to start out. Hold for 20 seconds and work up to 60 seconds. Bicep hammer curl target your arms, so you’ll feel stronger when carrying things around. * Bench/Box squats are another easy weight training move. Stand in front of a chair or bench with your feet shoulder-width apart. Look directly ahead as you bend your knees and lower your backside into the bench. Sit before standing again. WHAT SHOULD YOU BE DOING!!! * Consider your current level of physical activity and take up something which would be physically and emotionally beneficial to you. * When you are used to moderate activity, aim to increase workout intensity by adding intervals, increasing exercise duration, or both. This will lead to greater fitness gains. * Be patient with yourself, and in time you will be healthier and happier, in part due to your perseverance * Training at 40s, 50s and 60s you should know resistance training is extremely beneficial for your fitness, brain function, mobility, muscle mass and strength, and overall health-span as you age. * It's never too late to start some form of resistance training - whether you're 19 or 90. * Key is to design a Plan around your capabilities, needs and personal goals is always advisable. Sources: 1. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3117172/](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3117172/)

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