As we age, we start to lose our vitality, and our muscle fibers shrink, which leads to muscle loss. But the good news is that strength training can help rejuvenate our muscles as we age, reverse the aging process within the tissue, and improve people’s ability to perform physical tasks. But why is strength training the fountain of youth? Why strength training is known as the fountain of youth?
Strength training is the true and the most effective fountain of youth; regularly performing strength training will make you look younger 10 years than you actually are. A 30 years study at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School revealed the most dramatic proof of how exercise reverses aging.
Additionally, a study issued by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that engaging in progressive resistance training may reduce white matter lesions progression in older women.
For example, white matter plays a crucial role in communication within the brain and between the brain and spinal cord, including:
- Memory and focus
See also: 14 Top Reasons Why Weight Training Is Essential For Weight Loss. Check out a video summarizing this article that we have uploaded to our YouTube channel.
Table of Contents
What Happens As We Age?
Here is what happens as we age:
Loss of Muscle Mass
Once we age, our muscle fibers shrink, which results in muscle loss, also known as sarcopenia. After age 30, you begin to lose about 3% to 5% per decade, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Less muscle means more significant weakness and less mobility, both of which may double your risk of falls and fractures.
Loss of Bone Mass
Also, as you reach your 40s, you start to lose bone mass or density (AKA osteopenia). According to Johns Hopkins University, the risk for bone loss is higher in women because female bones are typically smaller and less dense than male bones.
As you age, other changes happen in your body but suffice it to say that our bodies progressively decline. So how can you slow the decline and stay youthful and energetic? Now enters strength training.
11 Reasons Why Strength Training Is Known As The Fountain Of Youth
Regardless of your age, strength training is essential to stay active and prevent injuries. Here are the 11 reasons why strength training is known as the fountain of youth.
1- Strength Training May Help You Live Longer
Inactivity is the new smoke, especially as you get older. Several studies revealed that strength training might help you live longer.
A study examined prospectively the association between muscular strength and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer in men.
Muscular strength is inversely and independently linked with death from all causes and cancer in men, even after adjusting for cardiorespiratory fitness, concluded a study.
In other words, not doing strength training may increase your chance of death and cancer.
2- Strength Training Will Help You Build Strength
After 35, sedentary people begin to lose about 3% to 5% per decade. Consequently, their ability to do daily tasks, including doing their own yard work, carrying their own groceries, and picking up heavy objects, gradually declines.
According to Harvard, strengthening your muscles will make you stronger, stimulate bone growth, improve balance and posture, and reduce pain in the lower back and joints and stress.
In other words, regular strength training will help you feel more confident and capable of performing daily tasks such as gardening, playing with your grandchildren, groceries, and lifting heavier objects around the house.
3- Strength Training Promote Bone Density
As we get older, our bodies will become more fragile and easily injured, preventing us from lifting heavy objects or staying active, reducing our quality of life. With a regular strength training routine, you can ensure you retain your muscle and strength through your golden years. You will build muscle strength and help develop and maintain bone density.
Inactivity and poor nutrition combined lead to a decrease of 1% per year in bone mass after age 40.
Strength training, including weight machines, free weights, and resistance bands, can help you build and maintain muscle mass and strength.
4- Strength Training May Increase Your Testosterone
Maintaining healthy testosterone levels is especially important as we get older. Higher testosterone can also increase your confidence level, assertiveness, and, more importantly, your sex drive.
In addition, people with healthy testosterone levels can build more muscles than people with slightly or very low.
5- Strength Training Can Boost Your Metabolism
As you get older, your metabolism slows down, making losing weight much harder. With strength training, you put a greater caloric demand on the body, speeding up your metabolism.
Strength training boosts resting metabolic rate in healthy 50- to 65-yr-old men, found a study.
Strength training may improve your metabolism over time. In addition, strength training is generally more effective than cardio at boosting the number of calories you burn after your workout.
6- Strength Training Provide A Higher Quality of Life
Strength Training with a community of positive people promotes a better quality of life.
Community strength training programs such as the YMCA are excellent ways to make new friends, socialize and stay active.
7- Strength Training Promotes Better Posture
Poor posture causes you to slouch, contributing to a tired, haggard-looking appearance, which profoundly affects how others perceive you and make you look older than your years.
Conversely, an upright posture projects a youthful exuberance and vitality that transcends your age. By standing tall, you display an aura of self-confidence that commands respect in your professional and social endeavors.
Fortunately, strength training can do wonders for your posture, help you stay stabilized, and restore your postural integrity.
8- Strength Training Decrease Your Injury Risk As You Get Older
Strength training and muscle building are excellent tools for toning your body, looking good, giving you great proportions and muscle development, and slowing aging.
Muscle building can also support daily functional activities such as walking, sprinting, and lifting heavy stuff, which positively impacts fat-burning, strength, and mobility.
9- Strength Training Promotes Self-Image and Self Confidence
As the wise and old saying goes, “When you look good, you feel good.” Without a doubt, your appearance has a significant impact on your subconscious. Transforming your body is an excellent way to transform your mind. Strength training will help you shape your muscles, promoting a lean, sculpted physique that exudes sex appeal.
Whether you’re young or old, thin or overweight, several months of pumping iron will make your body more aesthetically pleasing. Consequently, your self-esteem will improve, promoting a renewed confidence in your abilities.
10- Strength Help Reduces Stress
Similar to meditation, strength training can be highly therapeutic. It allows you to channel stress and reduce anxiety. Furthermore, as you strength train, your brain begins to secrete endorphins, chemical messengers promoting an “exercise high.” Until lately, endorphins were thought to be only linked with cardiovascular exercise.
However, newly released studies have shown that endorphin levels are increased by more than 60 percent after a strength training session. Hence, an intense strength training session will leave you feeling rejuvenated and even euphoric, which will keep your mind trouble-free.
11- Strength Training Will Improve Your Performance In Other Sports
As you get older, your strength and power output also start to degrade. Strength training will allow you to maintain and even excel in your hobbies, like skiing, snowboarding, and cycling.
Strength training is one of the best ways to develop strength and improve your performance in other sports.
How To Keep Yourself Fit
- Pick activities you enjoy.
- Make being fit part of your everyday lifestyle. Playing with children, gardening, climbing the stairs, walking, dancing, and house cleaning are just a few activities that can improve your fitness.
- Combine various activities, including aerobic exercise, strengthening, yoga, flexibility, balance, and meditation.
- Start slow and gradually build up to a total of at least 30 minutes of activity a day, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Keep safety in mind. Always wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes and use appropriate safety gear.
- Avoid outdoor activities in extreme weather conditions, including heat or cold.
- Drink lots of fluids while performing physical activity.
Recommended Types of Activities
- By definition, aerobic activity means “with oxygen.” Your breathing and heart rate will increase throughout aerobic activities. Aerobic exercise increases oxygen use to improve heart and lung function, and performing also improves your mood and sleep and improves your mood and sleep. Examples of aerobic activity include walking, gardening, and swimming, which can help strengthen your heart and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Strengthening activities are any activities that make your muscles work harder than usual and increase your muscles’ strength, power, size, and endurance. Strengthening activities include using your body weight or working against resistance. In addition, strengthening your leg and hip muscles with leg-weight workouts can help reduce your risk of falls.
- Flexibility and balancing exercises, including martial arts, karate, tai chi, stretching, and yoga, can help prevent injuries and stiff joints.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, a typical training program might include the following:
- 8 to 10 exercises targeting all your major muscle groups
- Perform sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
- Two or three workouts per week.
How To Get Started With Strength Training
- Always discuss this with your doctor before starting any strength-training program.
- Start strength training about 2-3 times weekly with a rest day between workouts.
- If you don’t know the proper form of strength training, hire a good personal trainer a few times to help you understand the basics and reduce the possibility of injury.
- Work with light weights and slowly add weight as your body adjusts to the new exercise if you’re new.
- As you get stronger, plan on gradually adding weight once you can lift a weight properly without pain 15 to 20 times.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle, including various exercises and a clean diet consisting essentially of fresh, plant-based, and whole foods. Add both strength training and aerobic training exercises to complement your workout routine.
Above all, don’t fall into the trap of believing that strength training is only for bodybuilders. Strength training is good for everyone, and the sooner you get started, the greater the benefit. And always keep in mind it is never too late to get started.