Did you know you lose muscle as you age? Fortunately, there are steps you can take to decrease muscle and bone loss and protect your independence and health. Alloy Personal Training has active aging experts that recommend a routine of strength training for women over 50. Ideal for improving bone density and protecting existing muscle mass, while also building new muscle mass, strength training with weights is an excellent way to stay fit and healthy well into your golden years.

Starting at about age 30, both men and women lose muscle mass at a rate of about 10% each decade until age 50, at which point the loss accelerates to 15% per decade. By age 80, losing muscle mass can become incredibly pronounced, increasing the odds of bone breaks and falls that can decrease a person’s quality of life. Muscle loss is especially pronounced in women, for whom muscle and bone loss rates speed up from decreasing levels of estrogen during menopause.

5 Benefits of Strength Training for Women

Whether you have been strength training with weights your whole life  or you’re just getting started, weight training is an excellent form of exercise for women – especially those over 50. Here are a few benefits of strength training for women:

1. Increased Muscle Mass

While it’s inevitable you’ll lose some muscle with age, you can continue to build muscle mass well into your sixties, seventies, and beyond.

Strength training helps women maintain strong, lean, toned bodies, which promotes independence during the aging process. Without regular weight training, muscles begin to deteriorate and the activities of everyday living become more difficult.

2. Increased Bone Density

Each year, millions of people ages 65 and older fall. Although some of these falls may seem benign, they can be dangerous. In fact, falling once doubles chances of falling again, and the risk of injury becomes greater and greater each time.

As it stands today, 3 million seniors are treated in emergency rooms each year for injuries related to falls, and the CDC reports falls are the leading cause of death in older Americans.

Fortunately, strength training exercises for women can help decrease the risk of falling. By strengthening the connective tissue and muscle surrounding vulnerable bones, weight training makes the body stronger and more able to withstand a fall.

3. Decreased Body Fat

As we age, our metabolisms slow down. Over time, this can lead to weight gain and a variety of chronic conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. Fortunately, strength training decreases body fat – both internally and externally. Building muscle creates a higher metabolism as weight training allows you to burn more calories and enjoy a leaner physique. Check out this Should Women Lift Heavy Weights? and the comparison of why 5 pounds of muscle will make you look leaner than 5 pounds of fat.

fat vs muscle scale

4. Better Mental Health

Did you know that strength training improves confidence and can boost mental health? In fact, a study conducted by Harvard Medical School found that regular exercise can help lessen the degree and incidence of clinical depression.

5. Reduced Risk of Disease

According to studies conducted by Tufts University, strength training for women helps reduce the risks and symptoms of many chronic health conditions, including diabetes, osteoporosis, back pain, depression, obesity, and more.

Pro Tips For Starting Strength Training For Women

If you’ve never taken part in strength training before, you’re probably excited to get started. To prevent injury and enjoy a successful weight training experience, follow these tips:

  • Get support. Any time you move your body under weight, there’s a risk of injury. To avoid torn ligaments and muscles, look for a personal or small-group trainer to help you. A skilled trainer will instruct you on proper form and technique and help you create a weight training program that’s tailored to you.
  • Start slow. Avoid the temptation to add too much weight too quickly. Even light weights of about 3 pounds each can pack a punch when combined with high repetitions. As your body adapts over time, you’ll be able to add more weight.
  • Focus on form. Quality is more important than quantity with weight training movements. Instead of trying to bust out 100 weighted lunges, move slowly and focus on the form of each lunge. This will allow you to get stronger, faster, while also avoiding injury.
  • Establish a routine. Before you embark on your weight training program, pay a visit to your doctor. He or she can assess whether there are any muscular or bone issues to be aware of. From there, work with a trainer to establish a weight training routine that has you combining strength training with other forms of functional fitness, like cardio and studio classes.

Remember that there’s no “one-size-fits-all” rule for weight training. As long as you go slowly, listen to your body, and build a routine that’s tailored to you, you’ll see results quickly. Even better, the program will keep you looking and feeling great for years to come.

Alloy’s Focus on Strength Training For Women

Here at Alloy, we’ve long believed that strength is power – mentally, physically, and emotionally. We strive to create a premier personal training system that provides proven results for healthier, active lifestyles… not the latest fitness fads.

Alloy welcomes people of all fitness levels with a superior customized personal training system tailored for the clients. We focus clients on being in the best shape of their lives — not just the younger fitness fanatics that many gyms target. We know people do better with coaching, encouragement, support and accountability.

For women over the age of 50, we focus on tailored strength training plans designed to provide flexibility, stability, and independence for years to come.

Article by Rick Mayo 

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