The Importance of Keeping Muscles Over the Age of 50
Forget fifty is the new forty. Fifty is the new thirty if Will Smith, Kylie Minogue and LL Cool J are anything to go by!
Decades ago, reaching your half-century would have put you in the dreaded 'past-it' category. Since then, too many women and men have demonstrated that age isn't a barrier to achievement, so we've stuck the label 'past-it' where it belongs: the bin.
So far, so social media inspo, but let's delve into the reality of what your 50 candles on the birthday cake do to your body, and the main point of this piece-muscle mass.
Muscle loss (sarcopenia) can be debilitating. To stay healthy and independent-wouldn't you rather be able to cut your own toe nails as you age? you want to keep muscles. Age-related muscle loss can heighten the risk of falls and fractures, something else we want to avoid.
It's estimated that 80 percent of men and women in their 50s and older have too little muscle and too much fat on their bodies. This increases the risk of obesity, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, lower back pain, high blood cholesterol and numerous types of cancer.
We can universally agree that muscle loss is NOT GOOD. But we have the antidote. You can avoid (and even reverse) age-related muscle loss. If you want that bright-eyed, happy and energetic feeling to continue in your 50s and beyond, weight-bearing exercise is one terrific medicine that works.
- A three-pound increase (1.35kgs) increase in lean muscle
- A 3.7 pounds loss of fat (1.67kgs)
- A 2 percent overall reduction in fat.
What can resistance training do? Ten weeks of a consistent programme can result in:
What's more, exercise offers: The release of certain hormones, the ones that promote healthy muscle mass such as growth hormone. It also combats essential muscles and bone mass loss.
is improved when you have appropriate metabolic activity, allowing you to complete the cryptic crossword* and remember your grandchildren's birthdays.
resistance training increases energy use during the exercise session AND afterwards.
Improved blood lipid profiles:-
this study of 25 men suggests weight training can increase strength, alter body composition, improve plasma lips and enhance cardiovascular function.
Avoiding type 2 diabetes:-
people who are within their BMI bodyweight range and who are active are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Improved bone density:-
strength training will substantially increase bone mineral density, giving you an injury-resistant skeleton, and decreasing your risk of breakages and fractures.
Finally, findings show that resistance exercise can improve your sleep. A review of 13 studies showed chronic resistance exercise "improves all aspects of sleep, with the greatest benefit for sleep quality". Exercise might well be a useful non-pharmaceutical way of knocking up quality zz'ds.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
If you'd like to build and preserve muscle mass, I can help. I'm Dean Schnaffer and I've worked in fitness for more than twenty years, helping people of all ages increase their strength using programmes tailored to their needs. If you'd like to work with me, why not book in for a consultation?
During the 45-minute consultation, I'll check your weight, blood pressure, bodyfat, and take you through a series of exercises to check your current movement and flexibility levels. From there, we can discuss what you need and how I can help you achieve your goals.
Why wait! Book your consultation with me now.*We make no promises are far as the cryptic crossword is concerned... Book a Consultation
What our clients say about us View All
I joined Fitness Club London in order to lose weight and improve fitness for some upcoming sporting events and for general health in my early 40s.
Dean has tailored both nutrition and exercise regimes to help me head towards these goals steadily. In nine months, I have worked off 17kg, which is over 80% of the way to my weight goal ahead of a sporting tour for Great Britain in March-April 2017. Skiing was completely liberated from muscle aches and fatigue.
Dean’s style of personal attention, and the avoidance of other distraction around the gym, make it possible to focus on improvements in technique and achievement. This helps me to recognise progress with each training session, which sustains my interest and motivation.
Derek L (Age 43) January 2017
14th February, 2017
I started training with Dean feeling quite sceptical as I was already reasonably fit and did a fair amount of walking but over the 18 months since Dean’s been my trainer, my overall sense of wellbeing has improved beyond anything I could have contemplated. I feel a sense of vitality and everyone has commented on the improvement in my posture and the "bounce" in my step. I knew that core strength was essential especially for older people and I now no longer need to use my hands to support myself but most importantly, I feel strong and fit. Dean has been incredible, combining encouragement (mostly) with cajoling and enabled me to reach a level of strength that I thought was beyond me. And of course, it isn't the strength that anyone sees but the youthfulness that many younger people do not have. Dean’s training regime has not only strengthened me but improved my shape and helped every aspect of my life and I could not thank him more.
Jill S (Jan 2017)
7th February, 2017
I have been working with Dean for 3 months and am fitter and stronger than I have been for twenty years, and slimmer too. He is very careful and caring but pushes you continuously to make progress, and it works.
Mandy -Over 55 - London (Sept 2014)
11th February, 2017
I have seen an amazing change in body and outlook on my diet since working with Dean at the Fitness Club! I had several personal trainers before but Dean is the first that actually made me feel and look better. Dean was able to quickly determine a plan that was right for me and once I finally listened to his advice I immediately saw a change. I actually went from 32% bodyfat down to 20% bodyfat in just over 6 months. Every time I see someone who I have not seen in a while they comment on how good I look which makes me feel really great!! I cannot thank Dean enough for keeping me focussed on my personal health goals!!
Tara K - Age 38 (Oct 2015)
11th February, 2017
I am 64 years old and a long distance runner. I know it is important to do weight training and resistance work in addition to the cardio-vascular workout the running gives me, but in the past have found gym workouts to be both tough and tedious. But I am glad to report that the two personal training sessions per week with Dean have proved the opposite. He is good at summing up and providing the essentials you personally need and creates an individualized programme. This programme is challenging but manageable. Dean pays close attention during the training and so helps to prevent injury.
Joan (Nov 2013)
13th February, 2015