7 Reasons Men Over 50 Should Lift Weights
If you’re a man over 50 and not lifting weights, here are 7 good reasons you should be doing resistance training.
If you’re a man over 50 wanting a healthy, active lifestyle well into your senior years, strengthening your muscles is one of the best investments you can make.
Few things slow seniors down more than physical issues, particularly in the joints, bones, and muscles.
The great news is that you can do something about your health! An ongoing strength training program involving the use of free weights will help men over 50 build muscles supporting key physical functions, resulting in fewer limitations on their lifestyle well into their senior years.
Here are some key fundamentals to physical health for men over 50:
1) Offset Muscle Loss
Age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, means “vanishing flesh.” As men age, muscle mass can decline by as much as 1% every year, with up to a 30% loss between the ages of 50 and 70. A strength training program using free weights can dramatically offset that loss.
An additional benefit to men over 50 who weight train is improving your vascular system’s ability to get blood to the muscles, and also improved neuro-muscular coordination; your brain and you muscles communicate better with each other.
2) Keep Joints Healthy
Joints aren’t really meant to bear much load, that’s the muscle’s job. A joint is really only as strong as the muscles and tendons that hold it in place. Weak muscles mean weak joints, increasing the chance of injury or joint diseases such as osteoarthritis.
Additionally, joint usage increases synovial fluid levels which perform important joint functions like lubrication and nutrient and waste transport.
Weight training builds muscle and tendon strength in men over 50 that has been lost through the aging process. Keep the muscles and tendons strong and your joints will stay healthier much later into life.
3) Maintain Bone Density
Women aren’t the only ones who should be concerned about loss of bone density – and strength – due to aging. Bone density responds favorably to weight training, and an ongoing program will keep bones strong and more injury resistant..
4) Improve Balance
Most don’t realize it, but falling becomes the single biggest source of injuries for people over 50. Lifting with free weights (as opposed to using machines) involves standing while lifting for many exercises. Balancing while moving under load sharpens our sense of balance.
5) Lose body fat
Muscle mass burns more calories at rest, so the more you have, the more calories you’ll burn 24/7.
Yes, a healthy, calorie-restricted diet is a key part of this equation, but the higher metabolism resulting from increased muscle mass makes a significant contribution.
6) Increase free testosterone
A big concern for men over 50 is declining levels of free testosterone. As men approach age 50, they enter into a phase known as andropause, where testosterone levels begin a slow but ongoing decline.
Testosterone is the male sex hormone responsible for our manly characteristics, including things like muscularity, aggressive attitude, and sex drive.
Studies prove that lifting, especially lifting heavier weights, increase men’s levels of free testosterone in their bodies.
7) Improve back health
Through a combination of core strengthening exercises and lifting while standing, the entire core becomes stronger. A strong core equals a healthier back. Nothing will keep you from the life you want to live faster than a bad back.
Even if you don’t lift weights (you should), a regular core-strengthening program is a must for men over 50.
Looking for ways to regain your fitness after 50? Get our free report, “7-Step Shred” for men over 50 looking to get into the best shape of their lives.