Getting older sucks! With each year, you notice more aches, have less energy and feel weaker. Will you concede to old age or will you do something about it?
Recent studies have shown that loss of muscle may be the one of the most significant contributors to your decrease in quality of living and life expectancy. By incorporating strength training into your fitness routine, you can maintain or even increase muscle mass as you age and combat Father Time.
Here are 3 reasons why strength training will help you feel younger and prolong the effects of old age.
Sarcopenia, the aging related decline of muscle mass, does not only greatly reduce performance in daily living activities but is also linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
A recent study from the University of Sydney suggests that strength exercises are just as important as aerobics and may reduce your risk of all-cause and cancer-related death.
This study found that individuals who engaged in strength exercises had a 23 percent lower risk of death by all causes, and a 31 percent lower risk of cancer-related death.
Not all strength training is created equal. Functional strength training emphasizes exercises that will improve your overall quality of living and performance (rather than pure aesthetics). Not only will these exercises help you to move like you are younger, but they will also reduce your risk of injury.
To maximize results, most of your strength training should consist of the following movements:
- Hip Hinge (Deadlifts, Sumo Deadlifts, KB Swings.)
- Squat (Back squat, goblet squats, Front Squats)
- Push (Bench press and variations)
- Pull (Pull Ups, row variations)
- Single Leg (Split squats, reverse lunges.)
- Carries (Farmer’s walks, suitcase carries)
Strength training elevates your level of endorphins (natural opiates produced by the brain), which increases energy levels and improves your mood. While it is true that all exercise boosts mood because it increases endorphins, there is additional research that’s looked at neurochemical and neuromuscular responses and suggests strength training has a positive effect on the brain that not all exercise has.
As if that isn’t enough to convince you, there’s evidence that strength training may help you sleep better, too.