A common reason people start new fitness/health routines is because they begin to feel the effects of aging, whether that be weight gain, achy joints, or a lack of energy. A good preventative health plan includes strength, mobility, flexibility, and balance training. It may seem counterintuitive to think of regular resistance training as a method of reducing discomfort, particularly because it may not seem comfortable while working out, but the benefits are undeniable.
There appears to be a misconception that exercise sessions must be harsh or last for long stretches of time, but that isn’t necessarily true. This is where a good coach comes in, one who adapts your program according to your preferences. This way you are more likely to stay with it and even enjoy it. Your coach should be someone you enjoy working with, someone who inspires and pushes you beyond what you thought was possible. I have never been stronger, felt better, or pushed harder than when I was trained, even as a fitness professional. We all have blind spots and a good coach illuminates those areas for us.
Even if you aren’t ready to begin a full program, start pushing yourself in your daily activities. If you aren’t accustomed to doing any exercise, that’s ok; begin small by walking in the park or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. As you feel more comfortable with these strides, begin incorporating some body weight training, such as squats and wall push-ups.
Peak bone mass happens in our twenties and slowly declines as we age. Strength training helps slow this process, as weight bearing activity increases bone density. Studies have indicated that aerobic activity has a positive impact on those prone to or who have Alzheimer’s disease. The best bet is to incorporate both aerobic and strength training into your lifestyle at a pace that works well for you.