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The Importance of Strength Training

It's never too late to start lifting weights and build strength

Why is it important to build strength as we age?

From around the age of 40, we begin to lose muscle mass at a rate of 1% per year due to the aging process. This applies to both men and women and in my opinion is why many men and women struggle to lose weight as they age.

For women as we go into the perimenopause and the menopause, the lose of muscle mass, the drop of estrogen, the rise in cortisol and the ineffectiveness of the pancreas to produce enough insulin can result in the stubborn belly fat that sits around the middle. This cam result in an increase of visceral fat, which is very detrimental to your overall health and can lead to cardiovascular disease, non alcoholic fatty liver disease, and cancer. This can result in prediabetes and diabetes, which is a very common side affect of the menopause, along with; anxiety, osteoporosis, weight gain, joint pain, auto-immune illnesses and inflammation.

So what can we do about this?

Many women in this phase of their lives generally see the symptoms of menopause as just part of the menopause, however this doesn't have to be the case. With resistance training performed regularly at least 2-3 times per week, we can build muscle and reduce body fat, especially visceral fat that gathers around the middle and which is very inflammatory.

Muscle is a large storage unit for glucose, so the more muscle mass you have the larger amount of glucose your body can store and then utilise when required, without it transferring into fat. Muscle also requires more energy to move than fat, therefore it will also increase your metabolism, utilising more calories throughout your day.

Having strong muscles will help to stabilise and balance the body and help to prevent you from falling and help to maintain a good posture as we age. Resistance training can also help to prevent osteoporosis, strengthening and rebuilding your bones.

Obesity, diabetes and non alcoholic fatty liver disease is on the rise worldwide, as we become more sedentary and so not maintaining and building muscle mass and our diets have become more processed and higher in sugar. Building and maintaining muscle mass is not only important during the menopause, it is important to begin this journey earlier in life when our hormone balances allow for muscle to be gained more affectively. The hormone Testosterone plays a key role in building muscle, which begins to decline age we age, making building and maintaining muscle harder. Lifting weights or resistance training also raises the levels of testosterone that is produced within the body. For women at any age it important to add resistance training into your weekly training schedule to keep the body lean and strong.


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