The obvious reason to lift weights is to build strength, but weight training also helps protect against osteoporosis. Weight training will help make daily activities more comfortable for people who suffer from arthritic conditions. It will also help minimize injury risk, and enable continued participation in recreational sports for people of all ages. You can build muscle mass and gain strength at any age.
There are some myths out there about weight training:
Myth: Weight training won’t help you lose weight
Myth: Weight training requires a gym membership and equipment
Myth: Weight training makes women develop “muscle bulk”
Here are the facts about these myths:
- Building muscle may help you burn calories, even after your workout. This is because weight training speeds up metabolism ( a person’s calorie-burning rate). With age, people lose 20-40% of their muscle, and this then slows their metabolism.
- You can begin weight training with soup cans (1# each), strap on cuff weights (available in adjustable increments for purchase at any store with a sport section), or use things like water jugs. Begin with an amount of weight that you can lift about 8 times before feeling tired. Stay with this weight until you can lift it 12 to 15 times, then increase the weight.
- Choose 8 to 10 different exercises. Consult a physical therapist to help identify which exercises are best for you. Do 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 15 repetitions, 3 times a week.
- Women will not get “big” from routine weight training as outlined above. You must do high-volume, high-intensity training consistently in order to build bulk.
Lifeline Therapy can design a lifting program individualized to you based on your fitness level and needs to optimize your results and prevent injury. Contact us today to set up an appointment!