Weight Training for Longer Life - Mojo Rider
Unlike James, I never got into bodybuilding, but I did get into weight training. Part of my motivation was being an ectomorph growing up and my metabolism was super fast. I couldn't gain weight no matter how much I ate. I did enjoy and indulge in anything I wanted to eat, though. Weight training was a way to work on what I felt were my weakest and underdeveloped muscle groups. In addition, I also lifted with specific goals in mind, to strengthen certain muscle groups for sports related activities. It was really more functional lifting when I was younger. To some extent, I still do functional lifting, but today, it's mostly for trying to stay toned and to keep a level of strength. Maybe James is more consistent with his lifting, as I've lifted off and on for some time now.
As I've gotten older, alas, my metabolism has slowed down and easy weight gain has become an unwanted part of aging. With life's demands, it's easy to let a regular exercise program go out the window. So I'm a little heavier than I want to be and the concessions I have to make with getting older is to really watch what I eat in addition to having to increase the intensity of my workouts with what time I do have. But one constant for burning up lots of calories has always been weight lifting. That is the one tried and true method I've discovered. But everyone is different and you must find what works best for you.
I've got two older siblings, neither who've done much weight lifting. I keep telling them the benefits of lifting as they get older. And yet, with their busy lives, they don't ever get around to incorporating weight lifting into their activities. I tell them that it maintains good bone health, strengthens yours tendons, helps give your metabolism a boost. But lifting isn't just for vanity; it's for helping you live longer.
Here's a great health report in the Washington Post that talks more about the benefits of lifting that even I wasn't aware of:
Some the highlights they discuss are as follows:
- Declining muscle mass can lead to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and other chronic illnesses
- Muscle mass starts declining around the age of 40
- No matter how old you are, muscles always respond to weight training
- Strength training provides cardiovascular benefits
- It may help reduce high blood pressure
- May help in preventing cancer and increases mobility as we age
So try and make a lifestyle change and incorporate some weight lifting in your life. It just might help you lead a healthier and longer life.