As we get older it becomes more and more critical that we maintain our strength. Opening a jar of pickles, carrying your groceries, putting the grandkids stroller in the back of the truck …these thing require strength development.
Generally speaking when people hit the gym they feel as though they are really improving their fitness by spending their precious hour of training on a stationary aerobic machine. Strength training programs can seem complex, while jumping on the bike just seems like a simpler solution. While aerobic training has its benefits, and is helpful in maintaining cardiovascular health, it won’t help you develop or maintain the strength you need to lower your risk of injury when carrying out tasks that challenge your body’s power output.
5Ways That Strength Training Will Help You Age Gracefully:
1. Keep your hormone production stimulated naturally: Strength training is an amazingly powerful way to naturally increase key hormones levels that are integral for slowing the aging process. Growth hormone and testosterone (hormones produced by your endocrine system) are considered the gatekeepers to youth and vitality. Resistance strength training is the number one behaviour you can take part in to keep your body’s endocrine system functioning optimally.
2. Grip Strength – grip strength is a quick and dirty test to quantify your upper body strength. Grip strength matters for everyday activities like opening jars, carrying bags, moving objects around.
3. Squatting – is a real life movement that we all must do in our daily activities such as getting out of a chair, getting out of a car, getting out of the bathtub.
4. Lifting overhead – Upper body strength is key to your independence as you age. You need upper body strength to pick up a box and move it to the top shelf, or to lift children up and put them in their car seats.
5. Immunity – the protein in your muscles is a storage house that your body can draw upon to make glutathione, which bumps up your immunity. Glutathione is the body’s built-in master antioxidant .
Aerobic activities can be fun, make you feel good and prolong your life. However, without your strength, even aerobic activities like tennis, squash or bike riding can become out of your reach. Not only will strength training keep you more youthful by allowing you to continue your everyday activities independently, it can improve your quality of life by allowing you to keep doing the activities you like to do for fun!
Only the Best!
Jillian Halligan M.Sc., B.Sc., C.E.P