Tips for Strength Training for Over Age 50
As we age our bodies begin to slow down, but that doesn’t mean our lives do. In order to keep up its important to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. While most folks over 50 may not be lifting weights at the gym anymore, strength training is still an important part of maintaining health and wellness, at 25 and at 50.
Benefits of Strength Training
While everyone wants to look their best, the benefits of strength training go beyond cosmetics. Benefits of strength training include:
- Greater ability to burn fat: This helps you maintain a healthy weight
- Improved bone mass
- Improved mood and sleep
- Makes your life easier: Being stronger means you can carry more, have better endurance and can stay independent longer
Ready to get started on your strength training journey? Here are some tips for getting an effective strength training workout at 50 and above:
- Warm-Up: Before you begin remember to warm up with stretches to stay limber and reduce the risk of injury.
- Finding Time: It can be hard to fit in a workout to your busy schedule, find the time by reminding yourself of the benefits of strength training. Carve out time in your morning routine to start your day with a dose of feel good endorphins.
- Frequency: For the best results aim to workout three to four days per week, with time in between for recovery. Many may not know, but you actually build muscle during the recovery process, rather than during the workout itself. On recovery days, make sure to eat well, get plenty of sleep, and practice some low-impact cardio if you’re up to it to still get your daily workout in.
- Fuel Up: Pump up the protein to aid in muscle recovery and the development of muscle mass. Experts recommend between 0.8 and 1 gram of protein per pound of body mass to start. Great sources of protein include nuts, eggs, dairy, seeds, and meat.
- Remember Joint Safety: Don’t forget to protect those joints. Utilize braces to reduce tension on the joints, work with a trainer or physical therapist and research proper techniques on your own to avoid joint damage.
- Add Weight: A big mistake many people make when incorporating weights into their strength training is not adding enough. A good rule of thumb is to use weights heavy enough so that you can perform 10 to 15 reps per session before experiencing muscle fatigue.
3 Strength Building Workouts
1. Biceps Curl
An easy place to start is with bicep curls. Place a resistance band under your foot. Hold an end of the band in each hand. Next bend your elbows to curl your hands upwards toward your biceps. Do six reps before switching to the other foot and doing six more.
2. Forearm Plank
A strong core will help stabilize and strengthen the whole body. Planks are one of the best go to moves for core strength training. Begin with your forearms placed on the floor, arms parallel to your body, spaced shoulder-width apart, and with elbows aligned with your shoulders. Push your toes into the floor and activate your glutes to stabilize your legs. Keep your spine and neck in a straight line. Begin by trying to hold the pose for at least 20 seconds, and as your core begins to strengthen begin to increase the time you hold the pose.
3. Chair Dip
This one is a great one to try at home. All you need is some motivation and a sturdy chair. Begin by sitting on your chair. Place your palms against the seat, parallel to your hips, and slide off the chair so that you are supporting your weight with your arms and legs. Bend the knees to a 90-degree angle. Next, lower your bottom to the floor by bending your elbows. Then push up until your arms are extended straight (be sure to push with your arms, not your feet) Repeat for approx. 8 - 15 reps for strong triceps.
The Specialists at MidAmerica Orthopaedics
Now that you’ve got these tips it's time to get started! For extra help and support in your strength training journey, come see us at MidAmerica Orthopaedics. Our highly trained physical therapists can help you find the best moves to strengthen and avoid injury, and our skilled orthopaedic specialists are here to help diagnose any residual joint and muscle pain you may be experiencing that strength training isn’t helping to alleviate.
To learn more about MidAmerica Orthopaedics and the different treatment options available to you, request an appointment online or call (708) 237-7200. MidAmerica Orthopaedics serves various areas such as Chicago, Tinley Park, Palos Hills, Mokena, Evergreen Park, New Lenox, Oak Lawn, Orland Park, and more.