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Blog, Strength

As we get older our muscles can become smaller and weaker. Beyond the age of 30, we lose approximately 3kg of muscle mass per decade. Research findings indicate that interventions designed to increase skeletal muscle mass (such as weight training) may prove to be a critical weapon in the fight against obesity and other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension and cancer!

I came across this interesting research paper that looked into strength training for older adults and how it can help to live longer and lower the odds of dying. The study is the first to demonstrate the association in a large, nationally representative sample over an extended time period, particularly in an older population.

exercise-1235019_960_720If you are interested in the details check out the following article here.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160420090406.htm

A key take away message from this article is that weight training, due to its recruitment of type II muscle fibres, appears to be more effective than cardio, endurance and aerobics for fat loss, weight control, essentially converting the cells into a fat burning machine.

It’s an interesting finding because up to this point health benefits of basic physical activity and aerobic exercise (cycling, running, swimming, walking, etc.) have been well established, less data has been collected on strength training and how it can improve longevity and anti-aging.

The outcomes of this recent study showed the following

“…older adults who strength trained at least twice a week had 46 percent lower odds of death for any reason than those who did not. They also had 41 percent lower odds of cardiac death and 19 percent lower odds of dying from cancer. Older adults who met strength training guidelines were, on average, slightly younger, and were more likely to be married white males with higher levels of education. They were also more likely to have normal body weight, to engage in aerobic exercise and to abstain from alcohol and tobacco.”

The outcome of this study is that strength training in older adults is beneficial for anti-aging, and goes way above and beyond improving muscle strength and physical function.

A lot of people don’t like the idea of doing strength training and sign up for a gym membership or join strength exercise classes and spend a lot of money and time on this.

Also lot of people think you need heavy weights and expensive equipment to do strength training. This is not quite true, it’s possible to get fit and strong without going to a gym by simply doing a few effective strength exercises at home. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to get your strength exercises in. Lifting weights is good but you need proper guidance from a personal training to make sure you do them right.

For me as an endurance athlete strength training is very important and I do at least 2-3 times a week some form of functional strength training.

To get you started and help you I have put together 4 simple exercises that you can do at home, 2-3 times a week. It doesn’t require much time, all you need is a good intention and to take the first step and try it out. Do it for 2-3 weeks and see how you feel.

Exercise 1: Warm Up

Exercise 2: Plank Variation

Exercise 3: Super Slow Push Up

Exercise 4: Back Extension

References:
https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/05/the-fittest-old-people/
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160420090406.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18091019
http://www.cbass.com/Strengthtrainingandtelomeres.htm

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