This Is Why Older Adults Should Lift Weights

Lifting weights is a good practice for everyone, and if you think you are too old to take up this form of exercise, think again. It turns out there is no defined age limit when it comes to lifting weights, and what you can get out of a strength training routine goes beyond your muscles, according to the Mayo Clinic. You can maintain your weight, manage chronic conditions, and even improve your thinking skills through this form of exercise.

Of course, one of the most important and obvious benefits of routine strength training is the development of strong muscles. This is important for older adults, as muscle mass is known to decrease at a rate of about 5% every decade after the age of 40. The good news is that it appears you can build back some muscle mass that has been lost (via The New York Times). Additionally, routine strength training can potentially help you build stronger bones. The combination of strong muscles and bones will allow you to accomplish more physically. As a result, your quality of life may improve when you find that you are able to perform more activities that were once difficult, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Other benefits of lifting weights

While building muscle mass is certainly a benefit of routine strength training, there are plenty of other advantages that come with lifting weights. For one, strength training can help you potentially control pain, stiffness, and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. When you lift weights, you improve your balance, which can also help you prevent falls. Weight lifting is also known to help control blood glucose levels (via Verywell Fit). 

Research shows that when it comes to losing weight, lifting weights is more beneficial for older adults than cardiovascular exercise. Cardio workouts can sometimes result in the loss of muscle mass, per Study Finds. Moreover, weight training can help people of any age control their weight, as muscle burns more calories than fat, according to Self. You can still do cardio, but don't forget the benefits of lifting weights as well. 

While routinely lifting weights can improve your life and body in many ways, it is always a good idea to check with your primary care physician before embarking on any exercise routine. A medical professional can help you make the best decision for improving your overall health, regardless of your age.