Why Strength Training is Crucial For Your Health (and Quality of Life) As You Age-and Why It’s NEVER Too Late!
by Ashley Schoborg MA CPT
Ashley has a master’s degree exercise physiologist and is a personal trainer with 17 years of experience in the fitness industry. She works with many clients aged 50+ and felt compelled to write this article for the Unity community to share the life-changing benefits of strength training, no matter what age you begin. Ashley discovered Unity of Albany through the hiking group, and has been a leader and active member of that group, and for the past 9 months has been Chair of Unity’s marketing team.
As a trainer for many people aged 50 and above, I never get tired of seeing the drastic
improvements in people’s lives when they start strength training.
Many people think it’s too late for them because they are over 50, 65, 85…
But, guess what? Your muscles don’t know age! They respond incredibly well, and will
rebuild at any age. At any age, you can start rebuilding muscle to bring back lost
strength, improve your balance, your bone mass, and just feel more energetic and
resilient in your day-to-day life.
This is the thing…
As we age, if we don’t have a very physical job, or have a strength training program, we
lose muscle mass. The old saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” holds true here.
This is why, as we age, we:
- Start having aches and pains (because muscles aren’t strong and holding joints
in proper alignment anymore.)
- Lose our balance more easily (because muscle strength helps us hold our
center of gravity.)
- Break bones more easily when we fall (because healthy, strong muscles exude force on bones and help them lay down more bone cells to keep them strong and dense.)
Don’t have the strength to do the things we used to do (because the muscles have shrunk and can’t handle the same capacity they once could.)
This is why strength training is an amazing and beneficial tool!…because it’s almost like finding the fountain of youth. It lets you turn back time. It allows you to bring your body back into the state of being stronger, more flexible, and in turn, to live more of the vibrant life you want.
Here are just a few inspiring client strength training stories to illustrate what I mean.
Client John C’s Story
John came to me at 85 after having open heart surgery. He was active in his life, but never had a regular strength training program. So, over time, he lost muscle mass and could no longer get his kayak on his car. And since kayaking is a very important activity to him, this became his goal. His goal was to be able to put his kayak on his car within 3 months of training.
With strength training 3 days per week for 30 minutes, in the first month I already saw drastic improvements in his posture. And by month 3, he was putting the kayak on his car and going kayaking by himself. John brought back more autonomy in his life.
Client Chris’s Story
Chris came to me at 65, diagnosed with osteoporosis, and she wanted to start strength training. Friends of hers had already started breaking bones (from simple things like a forward bend) and she didn’t want that to be her future.
With strength training 2x per week, she was able to maintain her bone mass for a couple years. Then, she started to reverse it! At year 2, her bone scan showed that she gained 1% in her wrist, 3% in her spine, and 6% in her hips!
Chris is still going strong with strength training 2-3 times per week, and is no longer lives in fear of breaking bones.
Client John P’s Story
John came to me in his late 50’s. He was always an athlete, but never had a strength training program. He was finding that he wasn’t able to play softball anymore without injuring himself. He was always pulling a muscle and wanted to play his favorite sport again without having to worry about constant injuries and having to miss a bunch of games.
John came to me at the end of the softball season, and after 9 months of regular strength training 3x per week and stretching, he was catching the eyes of all of his teammates during the following season. They knew he was always talented, but could never actually show it without hurting himself. He was now the star player of the team.
So, not only does strength training have obvious health benefits and significantly improve one’s quality of life, it also has a positive impact in other less obvious, but crucial ways:
- Bring back one’s autonomy
- Help someone stop living in fear of breaking bones and live a normal life
- And allow for the return of one’s favorite sports or pastimes
Just remember, it is never too late.
A person is NEVER too old to start strength training, and you can immediately start reaping its benefits if you decide to make it a regular part of your life.
If you are interested in having me help you safely and efficiently bring strength training into your life, feel free to schedule your free 20 minute consultation with me.
You can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit my website: https://train-with-ashley.mailchimpsites.com/