At Team Beaver Strength and Conditioning, we often get asked whether the type of training that we offer can help to reduce the effects of the aging process on the human body. Well, nothing can stop the march of time and there’s no magic formula to eternal youth and good health, but there are lots of health benefits to strength and resistance training, particularly as clients get older.
The ageing process:
Ageing is a natural part of life, and there’s no way to escape it completely. We can’t really turn back the clock on fine lines and grey hair, no matter how much we invest in cosmetics and other products. Nor can we escape those little, niggling aches and pains that sometimes come with age – they are signs that our bodies are designed to slow down as we get older. But it’s not just our skin, hair and joints that can suffer; ageing affects the brain and the muscles in our bodies start to lose mass as we get older. This can leave us prone to a lack of flexibility and if we don’t act, falls and injury are probably inevitable at some point in our later years.
Leading a slower pace of life can also lead to (and accelerate) illness. If you think about how little exercise many middle-aged men and women take (and the type of working out that they do) as they get older, it’s no wonder that diseases such as diabetes and heart disease (and other conditions such as osteoporosis) take hold.
So, ageing pretty much sucks on all levels, particularly if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. However, it’s not all bad news! Strength and resistance training might just be the closest thing we have to a time machine. We can’t reverse the ageing process, but we can halt the onslaught of illness and even conditions such as dementia* with carefully planned, regular exercise.
How does it work?
Let’s break it down. As we age, our muscles tend to lose mass and strength, but by incorporating regular strength training into your routine, you can train your muscles to regenerate and to grow stronger. If your muscles are stronger, your bone density improves, you’re improving the blood flow to your brain and your body becomes more flexible and supple, thereby increasing your overall mobility.
Imagine effortlessly carrying those heavy grocery bags up the stairs or playing football with your grandchildren without feeling like you need an oxygen mask. Strength training can make it happen.
Let’s not forget about the role of the metabolism in all of this. As we age, our metabolism tends to slow down, making it easier for those sneaky extra pounds to find a new home on our bodies. This can lead the way to all sorts of avoidable health issues, but guess what? Resistance training can crank up that metabolic engine, allowing you to burn calories more efficiently even at rest. Although Team Beaver prefers to concentrate on making our clients stronger and leaner, rather than lighter, not having that extra fat built up around your vital organs is only going to be better for your overall health.
Resistance training, intense boxing workouts or metabolic circuits are not just for ultra-fit bodybuilders or gym addicts, either. Strength and resistance training programmes can be tailored to fit anyone, regardless of age, gender or fitness level. Whether you are middle-aged, an older adult or just starting your fitness journey, there’s a program out there with your name on it and we will work with you to find it!
A word of warning …
As with any new fitness programme or regime, it’s important to approach strength training with care and to seek guidance from professionals, especially if you’re new to the game or have any underlying health conditions or injuries. Here at Team Beaver, we are qualified to design a programme that is specifically tailored to suit your needs and the outcome that you want to achieve, and we will always ensure that you’re performing exercises safely and effectively.
The secret to your success will be consistency. Reaping the rewards of resistance training requires commitment and dedication, just like any exercise programme. But Rome wasn’t built in a day; if you set realistic goals, listen to your body, and celebrate every small victory along the way, you will build a strong, lean and resilient body that you can rely on for years to come.
Here’s to embracing the incredible impact of strength and resistance training on ageing. Get in touch with us today to book an assessment session and take the first step to a stronger and fitter version of yourself.
*Source: Alzheimer’s Society – https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/risk-factors-and-prevention/physical-exercise