4 Science-Backed Benefits of Strength Training After 35
Whether it’s weight gain, hair loss, or having less energy to do the things you used to, getting older isn’t always easy. Like clockwork, once you hit 35, you will start to feel a shift in the way your body looks and feels.
Both men and women experience slower metabolism, hormonal changes, and bone loss in their 30s.
The change most people notice first is a slower metabolism, which affects how your body converts food into energy. When you get older, your body doesn’t require as much energy for fuel and burns fewer calories. So, if your eating habits remain the same, you’re likely to put on weight.
For women, estrogen begins to drop at 30 and significantly decline at 35. For men, testosterone levels go down. This can cause weight gain and low libido.
Bone loss also occurs around this age because the body breaks down bone faster than it can be replaced. While it’s a change you can’t see, it’s happening gradually during your 30s.
Thankfully, there is a way to slow down the aging process – and it all has to do with the lifestyle choices you make. To stay physically fit and protect your health, strength training provides numerous health benefits.
Strength training is a type of exercise designed to improve your muscular fitness, which includes both strength and endurance. Strong muscles are important for protecting your joints, preventing injuries, and increasing your overall quality of life. A strong and healthy body also allows you to enjoy physical activities – such as biking, running, and hiking – to the fullest.
Science confirms lifting weights helps us age well. According to the New York Times, “older people who start to lift weights typically gain muscle mass and strength, as well as better mobility, mental sharpness, and metabolic health.”
Here are the top four strength training benefits for people in their mid-thirties and older:
Helps prevent weight gain
Strength training stimulates muscle growth and improves your resting metabolism – the rate at which your body burns calories at rest (sitting or sleeping). At rest, muscles burn more calories than fat, so the more muscles you build, the more calories you will burn.
Research shows there is a direct link between resistance training for less than an hour a week and a decreased risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
When you hit the 30- year mark, your metabolism slowly starts to go down. Your diet and exercise habits during your 20s may not have affected your weight, but that will inevitably change with age.
But here’s the good news! It’s a very slow decline. So, if you don’t have any underlying health issues, and you’re mindful of what you’re eating and exercising regularly, you won’t pile on the extra pounds.
Increases testosterone levels
The most common age-related conditions are obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. A healthy amount of testosterone (T levels) is tied a lower risk of all three. Strength training is scientifically-proven to boost T levels in the short and long-term.
Every year men between 35 and 40 experience a 1 to 3% decline in testosterone. Testosterone levels for women also go down until they reach menopause. Studies confirm “acute increases in testosterone can be induced by resistant exercise.”
Did you know strength training builds more than muscles? It’s true! It also helps build strong bones by increasing bone density.
“Activities that put stress on bones can nudge bone-forming cells into action,” according to Harvard Health. “That stress comes from the tugging and pushing on bone that occur during strength training (as well as weight-bearing aerobic exercises like walking or running). The result is stronger, denser bones.”
Strengthening your bones in your 30s and 40s will protect you from osteoporosis down the line.
Boosts your energy
In our 30s and beyond, it’s harder for our bodies to maintain muscle. This is why people become less active with age. Since strength training helps our bodies hold on to muscle mass, it’s essential as we get older.
It also helps prevent injury. As you age, your reflexes become slower, so if you fall your body won’t bounce back as fast. Stronger muscles will improve your physical fitness in all areas.
Contrary to popular belief, life doesn’t have to slow down when you reach a certain age. You can still enjoy the activities you love. You just need to do your part to keep your body healthy and strong.