When I was a young mom, people asked me why I lifted weights. My answer was “so I can carry both my children up the stairs at the same time!” My reason now? I still want to be a strong, independent woman!” I love introducing my clients to the feeling of accomplishment they have as they get stronger and can do more and more without asking for help!
My friend in California recently contacted me to help her get back in the gym…WHY? I mean she is a triathlete for heavens sake! She has run marathon upon marathon! She is fit! She is strong! So I asked her! Her answer: “Because my arms are getting jiggly!”
Seriously! Then she followed it up with this: “I was an athlete my whole life, naturally strong upper body, but even I didn't think the words of my 7th grade health teacher "muscle starts to decline after 30" would ever apply to me.” In her words, “there's only so much you can do to your face to remain young... put that time, money & effort on your body and you'll start to FEEL like you're turning back clock as well as look it. “
As we age, we lose muscle mass, we lose bone density, our metabolism slows down. Strength training can combat all of that, with the additional benefits of increasing flexibility, reducing joint pain, reducing peri and post menopausal symptoms, sleeping better, and if that isn’t enough, being more mentally fit, (NYT: https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/10/21/lifting-weights-twice-a-week-may-aid-the-brain/).
Luckily, strength training (also known as resistance training) does not necessarily mean joining the muscle heads at the local Gold’s Gym! You can start to build muscle with your own body weight and slowly adding resistance as your strength increases. Things around your house, such as cans, milk cartons and dirt bags can be used to add weight and resistance.
My caveat? I do recommend consulting a fitness professional for guidance on technique if you have never done resistance training before.