Women and Muscle Loss: Healthy Aging through Resistance Training
As we aim to gracefully age, awareness of the changes our bodies go through is helpful – specifically for this blog post: sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength. But fear not! In this article, we’ll delve into what sarcopenia is, how it specifically affects women, and most importantly, how incorporating resistance training into our lives can be a game-changer in reducing muscle loss and promoting healthy aging.
Sarcopenia refers to the gradual decline in muscle mass and strength that occurs naturally as we age. It affects both men and women, but women often experience it differently, both because we have less muscle mass to begin with, and it occurs at an accelerated rate due to hormonal changes, especially during menopause.
Statistically, women tend to lose 3-8 percent of muscle mass per decade after age 30, and even more after age 60 (WHOA!). This means we must be extra proactive in building and then maintaining our muscle strength and overall health as we age. Fortunately, we have a powerful tool at our disposal: resistance training.
If I could only do ONE form of exercise for the rest of my life, it would be resistance training, in my opinion the ‘superhero’ of exercises. Simply put, it’s working against an external force, such as weights or resistance bands – or even your own bodyweight – to build strength and preserve muscle mass. It’s like giving our muscles a wakeup call, telling them to stay strong and vibrant.
Not only does resistance training help prevent muscle loss, but it also offers a plethora of additional benefits. By engaging in regular resistance training, we can improve bone density, boost metabolism, enhance balance and stability, reduce the risk of falls and fractures, and even alleviate symptoms of chronic conditions like arthritis.
Starting a resistance training routine doesn’t have to be intimidating. Begin with exercises that align with your fitness level and gradually progress over time. Whether it’s weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, or resistance bands, choose activities that you enjoy and that fit your lifestyle. Remember, the key is to keep it engaging and something you look forward to so you stay consistent.
Sarcopenia might try to sneak up on us as we age, but with the power of resistance training, we can take control and defy the odds. By engaging in regular resistance training exercises, we can combat muscle loss, improve our overall health, and embrace the journey of healthy aging with strength and confidence. Grab those weights, put on those resistance bands, and defy the odds and age gracefully with strength, confidence, and vitality!
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