Sarcopenia is the medical term used for loss of muscle mass. Research has shown that, after age 30, we lose about 3-5% of our muscle mass per decade*. This isn’t a big deal when you’re 40, but by age 70, it adds up.
Can you avoid sarcopenia or is it a given with aging? No one will prevent the loss of muscle. No 90 year old is as strong as a 20-year-old. However, you absolutely can get back your muscles! Plenty of research shows that you can gain muscle at any age.*
There is a catch, though. You have to work at it. We tend to have resistance toward resistance training because it requires effort. But this issue is as old as life itself. Living involves effort!
In my book, The StayAhead Method (release date: October 20th) I talk about the difference between lifespan and healthspan. Lifespan is how long you live, while healthspan is how long you’re healthy and functional. Anyone can live for a long time. But if you hope to extend the number of years you’re healthy and functional, maintaining your strength is essential.
The good news is that there are a variety of ways you can get off the sarcopenia bus. Here are three forms of resistance training.
- Weight lifting. Some people love lifting weights while others despise it. Bottom line, it’s an effective way to build muscle.
- Yoga and Pilates. When done with a focus on body-weight resistance, yoga and Pilates are effective strength-building forms of exercise.
- Resistance bands. My favorite way to build muscle at home is with resistance bands. They are inexpensive, they don’t take up any space, and they are easy to use. In ten to fifteen minutes you can get in a great workout.
There is a multitude of benefits to resistance training:
- improved muscle strength and tone to protect your joints from injury
- Improved balance to reduce the risk of falls
- weight management
- greater stamina – as you grow stronger, you won’t get tired as easily
- improved posture
- increased bone density and reduced risk of osteopenia
- improved sense of wellbeing – resistance training may boost your self-confidence, improve your body image, and your mood
- improved sleep
- enhanced performance of everyday tasks
That’s a great list! Be sure to give yourself the benefits of increased strength. Find a form of resistance training that works for you and get into a routine. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel and function when you add a few minutes of resistance training to your schedule.
I’ll have resistance training workout videos available on October 20th when my website, stayaheadfitness.comlaunches! Stay tuned!
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