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How to Slow Aging with Resistance Training

longevity train Jul 12, 2023
How to Slow Aging with Resistance Training | Arangio

In a small town nestled among rolling hills, there lived two elderly friends, Alice and Margaret.

Both had celebrated their 70th birthdays and were approaching their golden years; however, the way they managed the aging process couldn't have been more different. 

Alice was a firm believer in the power of resistance training. She had spent her life staying active, engaging in regular weightlifting sessions at the local gym. Alice understood that strength training was not just for the young and athletic. It was a key ingredient in the recipe for graceful aging.

On the other hand, Margaret had never been keen on exercise because she feared it would make her joint pain worse. She preferred a sedentary lifestyle, spending most of her days watching television and rarely venturing out of her comfortable armchair.

On the days she did get out of the house, it was only for a quick trip to the market or a doctor's appointment to manage her insulin sensitivity. She believed that aging was inevitable, and physical activity wouldn't make much of a difference. As the years passed, the consequences of their choices became evident.

Alice continued her strength training routine, diligently working on maintaining her muscle mass and strength. She moved with ease, had excellent balance, and was able to perform daily activities without assistance. Despite a history of lower back pain, her posture remained upright, and she exuded confidence and vitality. Heck, she could still do 10 pushups, 10 pullups, and hold a prone plank for 2 minutes.

Margaret, however, began to experience the consequences of her sedentary lifestyle. Her muscle mass gradually declined, and she found herself struggling with everyday tasks. Simple activities like climbing stairs or lifting groceries became increasingly challenging.

Margaret's energy levels plummeted, and she often felt fatigued and weak. The once vibrant woman was now confined to a walker, reliant on others for assistance.

Their physical differences were obvious, but the impact extended far beyond the physical realm. Alice maintained her cognitive abilities, remaining sharp and alert. She was socially active, enjoying lively conversations and pursuing new hobbies.

Margaret, on the other hand, noticed her memory fading, and she struggled to stay focused. She became isolated, losing touch with friends and feeling disconnected from the world around her.

Alice's commitment to resistance training paid off in more ways than she could have imagined. Her body and mind aged gracefully, allowing her to enjoy retirement to the fullest. She continued to explore new hobbies, travel, and share joyous moments with her loved ones. Alice was an inspiration to those around her, a living testament to the power of resilience and strength.

Sadly, Margaret felt trapped in her own body. She couldn't help but wonder what her life might have been like if she had taken Alice's approach. She yearned for the energy and vitality that seemed forever out of reach. Regrets weighed heavy on her heart, as she realized the missed opportunities to invest in her health and wellbeing.

The moral of the story: You must take care of your body and mind as you age.

Resistance training can boost your quality of life. By engaging in regular strength training exercises, you can slow down the aging process, preserve muscle mass, enhance cognitive function, and maintain your independence.

So, let Alice and Margaret's story serve as a valuable lesson.

Embrace resistance training as a lifelong journey, regardless of your age.

Invest in your health, prioritize your wellness, and enjoy the rewards of a vibrant and fulfilling life.

Remember, it's never too late to start lifting weights and reaping the benefits of a stronger, healthier you.

How to Slow Aging With Resistance Training

Resistance training, also known as strength training or weightlifting, involves working against a resistance to improve muscular strength, endurance, and size.

It can be performed using free weights, machines, resistance bands, or bodyweight exercises.

While it has long been associated with building muscle and increasing physical strength, its benefits extend far beyond that.

Resistance training is the key to aging gracefully and maintaining your vitality

In fact, progressive resistance exercise is the new fountain of youth.

In this lesson, you'll discover the numerous benefits of resistance training for optimal aging, backed by scientific research.

1. Preserve muscle mass and strength

As you age, you naturally lose muscle mass and strength, a process known as sarcopenia. However, resistance training has been shown to combat this decline. A comprehensive 2011 study conducted by Peterson et al. found that resistance training increased muscle mass, strength, and power in older adults, effectively countering the effects of sarcopenia. By preserving muscle mass and strength, resistance training enhances physical performance and functionality, allowing for a more independent and active lifestyle in older age (1).

2. Enhance bone density

Osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weakened bones, is a common concern as you age. Resistance training has been shown to increase bone mineral density, reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. A 2008 meta-analysis by Liu-Ambrose et al. involving postmenopausal women found that resistance training significantly increased lumbar spine and hip bone mineral density (2). By strengthening your bones, progressive resistance exercise contributes to overall skeletal health and longevity.

3. Promote metabolic health

Aging is often accompanied by metabolic changes, including decreased insulin sensitivity and increased body fat. However, resistance training can effectively counteract these changes. A study by Yarasheski et al. demonstrated that resistance training improved insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism in older adults (3). Additionally, resistance training increases resting metabolic rate, allowing for greater calorie burn, even at rest. By improving metabolic health, resistance training helps maintain a healthy body weight, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and support overall vitality.

4. Boost hormonal balance

Resistance training plays a pivotal role in maintaining hormonal balance, particularly with regard to testosterone and growth hormone. These hormones are crucial for muscle growth, bone health, and overall wellbeing. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology revealed that resistance training in older men led to significant increases in testosterone and growth hormone levels (4). These are natural increases, without testosterone replacement therapy or so-called "testosterone-boosting" supplements. By optimizing hormonal balance, resistance training supports muscle growth, tissue repair, and various age management processes.

5. Enhance cognitive function

Cognitive decline is a common concern as you age, but resistance training has been shown to have positive effects on brain health. A systematic review and meta-analysis by Northey et al. demonstrated that resistance training improved cognitive function in older adults, including enhanced memory and attention (5). The combination of physical exertion, increased blood flow, and neurotrophic factors released during resistance training helps support brain health and cognitive performance.

6. Combat inflammation and oxidative stress

Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are key drivers of aging and age-related diseases. The good news is that resistance training has been found to mitigate these factors. A 2022 study showed that resistance training reduced markers of inflammation and oxidative stress in older adults (6). By lowering inflammation and oxidative stress levels, resistance training supports overall health, cellular repair, and longevity.

If you're looking to age gracefully, don't underestimate the power of resistance training. Incorporate it into your routine, focusing on proper form, gradually increasing intensity, and allowing for adequate recovery. Consult with a qualified fitness professional if needed, and remember to listen to your body throughout the process.

And if you're going about it on your own, watch out for these common gym mistakes

Now is the time to embrace progressive resistance exercise as your pathway to a vibrant and youthful life. Get ready to redefine aging and unlock your full potential.

Let's raise those weights, lift your spirit, and enjoy the incredible benefits of resistance training on your journey toward optimal aging.

Summary:

Resistance training is not just about building muscles and looking strong; it's the new fountain of youth when it comes to optimal aging. Scientific research has consistently demonstrated the wide-ranging benefits of resistance training, including preserving muscle mass, enhancing bone density, promoting metabolic health, boosting hormonal balance, enhancing cognitive function, and combating inflammation and oxidative stress. Lifting weights can lead to a more youthful and vibrant life.

To your success,

Coach Joe

References:

  1. Peterson MD, Sen A, Gordon PM. Influence of resistance exercise on lean body mass in aging adults: a meta-analysis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Nov;43(11):249-58.
  2. Liu-Ambrose T, Donaldson MG. Exercise and bone mineral density in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2008 Jun;56(6): 2234-41.
  3. Yarasheski KE, Zachwieja JJ, Angelopoulos TJ, Bier DM. Short-term progressive resistance training increases skeletal muscle metabolic rate in older adults. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1993 Jul;77(1): 1-5.
  4. Häkkinen K, Pakarinen A, Kraemer WJ, Hakkinen A, Valkeinen H, Alen M. Selective muscle hypertrophy, changes in EMG and force, and serum hormones during strength training in older women. J Appl Physiol. 2001 Sep;91(2): 569-80.
  5. Northey JM, Cherbuin N, Pumpa KL, Smee DJ, Rattray B. Exercise interventions for cognitive function in adults older than 50: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2018 Jun;52(3): 154-60.
  6. El Assar M, Álvarez-Bustos A, Sosa P, Angulo J, Rodríguez-Mañas L. Effect of Physical Activity/Exercise on Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Muscle and Vascular Aging. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Aug 5;23(15):8713.

 


 

Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women get leaner, stronger, and happier. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to lose weight from home, with the best online personal trainer, or you want to visit the best personal trainer in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.

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