Why You Should Be Focusing On Strength Not Cardio If You’re Over 40 

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Image via Huffington Post

Why you should be focusing on strength not cardio over 40. As we age, we need to change the way we workout. For years, women especially spent the majority of their work out their favorite cardio machine. Although moderate cardio exercise does help maintain your cardiovascular health, after 40 we need to reevaluate how much is too much. We are all busy, and most of us probably don’t have endless hours to workout, we need to workout smarter.

It’s time to look at our workout and make necessary changes to make the most of our workouts. Listen up ladies, just because you look “skinny” in your clothes, you need to make sure you’re doing strength or resistance training to maintain your muscle mass. When we age, we lose muscle. According to Dr. Michael Roizen, MD, “We lose an average of 5 percent of our muscle mass every ten years after the age of 35 if we don’t do anything about it.”

“Today, we see drastic effects when we lose muscle: We gain weight. If you don’t intentionally rebuild muscle through exercise, you’ll need to eat 150 to 450 fewer calories every day every ten years to maintain your current weight.

So if you’re at a stable weight at age 35 and didn’t do any resistance training, while still eating the same amount of food, you’ll gain weight.”

Why You Should be Focusing on Strength Not Cardio Over 40

  1. Increase your muscle mass. Maintaining and increasing our muscle mass as we age is crucial. Not only will muscle mass help you in time of illness, it overall gives you a better quality of life. You’ll feel better, and be able to do the things you want to do.
  2. Increase your metabolism. Due to the aging process, our metabolism slows down, making it harder to lose or maintain our weight. By doing strength or resistance training, it will keep our metabolism working at an optimal level. Plus, unlike fat, muscle is metabolically active. When you build more muscle, you burn more calories. Not only do you burn more calories while you’re working out, but also continue to burn calories after your done working out. This process is called, Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, (EPOC). This benefit only happens with strength or resistance training. You can’t experience this calorie afterburn by doing cardio.
  3. Get a better nights sleep. If you’re over 40, you may have experienced the challenges of getting a good nights rest. I’m happy to tell you that by focusing on strength training, it helps regulate our hormones which improve our quality of sleep.
  4. Feel more energized. Working out, especially doing this type of exercises helps our bodies release endorphins. These chemicals are the “feel good’ chemicals in our brain and our bodies natural painkillers. Strength workouts will bring up your mood and give you energy.
  5. Increase your sex drive. It’s natural for our libido to decrease as we age. To combat our reduced sex drive change your workouts. It increases the production of testosterone and balances our estrogen, resulting in a stronger sex drive.
  6. Improve your overall health. The health benefits you gain from strength and resistance training are significant. For example, your risk of breast cancer will reduce by lowering your estrogen and progesterone levels in pre-menopausal women. It can lower your blood pressure to aid in your heart health. Additionally, It can also reverse or slow down bone density loss.

Don’t be afraid to build muscle. Muscles can be lean and beautiful; you won’t bulk up like the hulk unless that is your intention. Women are meant to be curvy, and building muscle only accentuates them.

These are the dumbells I use when working out at home. When I’m not using weights I love using these ankle weights and these resistance bands.

I’d love to see your before and after photos. Changing your mindset from cardio to strength training is a process, but I promise you’ll love your results. Since doing this type of exercise, my muscles are longer and leaner, and for the first time in my life, you can see that I have abdominal muscles.

By making this small shift in the way, we work out after 40 can significantly improve our health. Always, consult with your physician before starting workouts. Lastly, if you’ve never worked out with weights or resistance, it’s not a bad idea to hire a professional to get started.

 

 

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