Health

Weightlifting past middle age: Use it or lose it

If you’re like most people, you can expect to lose 30 percent of your muscle mass in the 20-year period between 50 and 70. But I am not like most people, and you shouldn't be either.

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If you’re like most people, you can expect to lose 30 percent of your muscle mass in the 20-year period between 50 and 70.

But I am not like most people, and you shouldn’t be either.

Loss of strength equals loss of function. Personally, I believe in fighting a valiant delaying action against age; Jack LaLanne was my hero.

If you don’t stay active with some form of intense, muscle-building resistance training like weightlifting, you’re going to gradually lose strength, putting you at a greater risk for falls and general physical ineptitude. You increase the likelihood of broken bones and loss of independence.

If you haven’t tried weightlifting yet, you really should. It’s not just about vanity, but about staying young on the inside. It won’t do anything for the appearance of wrinkles and graying hair, but it does make your physique look at lot better. More importantly, it makes it feel a lot better.

Weightlifting, or any type of resistance training (like Pilates or other types of bodyweight exercises) equal sustained independence. It keeps you whole and fit and out of the rest home. You get to keep carrying your own grocery bags, shoveling your own snow, and throwing your grandchildren in the air.

So find a qualified trainer and start soon.

Visit www.bodyforwife.com or email james@bodyforwife.com.