Any one that has been through menopause, or is in the beginning stages of the change, knows how difficult it is to lose weight and get into shape. Often we give up and just say to heck with it. But reality soon takes over and we know we have to get moving and take control.
Weightlifting has been proven to help strengthen muscles and help burn fat faster so it makes sense to add it into our routines. I am not talking about full on lifting 50 lbs or something like that, but adding weight to routines working specific muscle groups.
Energy levels gradually decrease as we grow older. As a result, most middle-aged individuals and beyond assume that it’s too late to get into weight lifting. That, however, could not be further from the truth! But how old is too old to start lifting weights?
Are You Too Old to Start Weightlifting?
Not only is it never too late to start lifting weights, but weight training actually becomes more crucial as you age. This is because weight lifting can help reverse, or at the very least, slow down the loss of muscle mass and bone density that occurs naturally with aging.
What’s more, weight lifting offers a host of other important benefits for older individuals.
Here are a few:
- boost in strength
- increased flexibility and balance
- improved health
- reduced risk of falls
So, if you’re a middle-aged individual or older, you should seriously consider making weight lifting a part of your exercise routine.
To ensure you get started on the right foot, here are a few pointers on the best and safest way for senior adults to start lifting weights.
Get Your Doctor’s Consent
It is always important to check with your doctor before starting a new workout program – more so if you are in the later years of your adulthood. A doctor will be able to determine if you can lift weights regularly without putting your health at risk.
Consult with a Trainer
While weight lifting is a great workout option for older adults, it can be dangerous if done using the wrong approach. It is highly important that you consult with a trainer before jumping into weight training.
A trainer will be able to take you through all the various intricacies (i.e. proper form and technique, ideal rest times, complementary warm up routines, suitable diet, and so on) that make up a safe and effective weight lifting workout. A trainer can also help you develop a personalized workout plan based on your unique fitness level and overall health.
Since weight training can be an intense physical activity, taking on too much too soon will more than likely lead to injury regardless of your age. The risk for injury is higher for those who are older. So it is essential to start slow and increase workout intensity as strength and fitness improves.
The best procedure is to start with a weight that provides a challenging but comfortable workout and then gradually increase weights as the body grows accustomed to the weight. That could be starting at 2 lb weights or 5 lb weights. It does not matter!
As with any form of exercise, regular workouts are mandatory to ensuring best results. Since older individuals have a slower recovery rate than their younger counterparts, more rest is required in between workout sessions. This creates the need for striking the perfect balance between ensuring effectiveness and proper recovery.
According to most fitness experts, 2 to 3 times a week should be enough to keep workouts safe and effective for the older individuals that lift weights.
You are never too old to start weightlifting as anyone can reap the benefits of weight training. All that is required is caution, proper instruction and execution of a weight lifting regimen. With the above tips, you should be able to create a personalized weightlifting plan that ensures both safety and great results.