Because collagen production starts to fall from age 25, we all need to be extra careful with our workouts and health routines as we age. The reducing collagen levels mean both our muscles and bones become weaker and if no action is taken to prevent this, will significantly impact our ability to do every day activities as we age. That includes our pelvic floor muscles, which significantly decreases in strength for many women when they have children. So how does resistance training help? And how do you know what to do?
- I know this sounds obvious, but resistance training strengthens your muscles. WE NEED STRONG MUSCLES TO FUNCTION EASILY. It is important to start building muscle as early as possible in adult life. It is much harder to grow muscle after the menopause, so start as early as you can in life and do it consistently to prepare for a stronger and more functional body in midlife and onwards.
- Resistance training improves the density of your bones. Many women do not even consider their bone health as a potential issue until it’s too late - they have already broken a limb. During the menopause bone density rapidly declines due to the drop in oestrogen levels. Regularly loading bones with weight increases bone density and means you start the menopause with much stronger bones. When your hormones change and your bone density decreases does come, the effects are dramatically reduced and the risk of ‘falls’ and breaks in older age reduce with it. Again, the earlier in life you start resistance training, the less bone density is lost and the better the results.
- More muscles mean you burn fat more easily and your metabolism increases. Muscle burns 7-10 kcals per pound of bodyweight, while fat only burns 2-3 kcals per pound. Therefore, at rest, when comparing two people of the same weight, the person with more muscle percentage will burn more calories than the slightly flabbier person. And don’t worry it is very hard for a woman to build big muscles – unless you are specifically trying to, and eating a specific body building diet, you will not become overly muscly.
- When carried out with the correct breathing and technique, resistance training will strengthen your pelvic floor. It is really important here to understand that correct technique is key. If you are lifting weights and increasing your abdominal pressure, this will bear down on the pelvic floor and make it weaker. However, if abdominal pressure is controlled with the correct breathing technique, the pelvic floor can be strengthened in this way. If you are interested, I run courses to teach this, click here for more details.
- Resistance training gives muscle definition. Those women who look good with their arms out and have beautiful defined shoulders, look that way because they have been lifting weights. Who says midlife women can’t still be sexy!?!
In summary, regular resistance training makes us look and feel younger than our years and sets us up for a strong and functional midlife into old age. All my Bootcamp classes focus on getting the most out of resistance training for women. The exercise strengthens their muscles and bones and tones their physiques. Every woman can work at her own level. Tuesday and Thursday mornings in Worthing. Sign up for your FREE TRIAL session now!