Women and men over 50 who want to avoid obesity should be lifting weights regularly.
That’s the finding of a large new study of how resistance training (weights, bodyweights, yoga, resistance bands, etc.) can improve and lengthen lives. We tend to think of cardio exercise, like jogging, to fight fat.
The researchers followed 12,000 people for six years, noting lifestyle habits, aerobic exercise, and participation in resistance training, among other factors. They wanted to see who would get fat over time. They found that people who performed resistance training had a 20% to 30% reduced risk of obesity, regardless of whether they also did aerobic workouts.
Add this to the list of why people over 50 should be working out with resistance – even if they insist they don’t want to “bulk up” from weightlifting. (Trust us: You won’t. Youngsters work out hard every day for months and months before getting big, so you’re more than safe from that worry!)
Among the other reasons you should be lifting weights:
- It improves length and quality of sleep.
- It improves your balance.
- It strengthens aging bones.
- It decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- It helps you perform the tasks of daily living with greater confidence.
And now, if it helps fight obesity, then it’s also working against high blood pressure and other common ailments.
The benefits are clear. Let us get you started, or help you rekindle your interest.
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.