In parts one and two of this series on the benefits of strength training over 40, we talked about preventing frailty and osteoporosis. But did you know lifting weights also helps protect your heart and your brain?!
In part one of this series on why strength training is critical in midlife, we talked about muscle loss, or sarcopenia. Muscle loss affects both men and women, not equally, but significantly.
There’s another catastrophic loss that affects females more profoundly than males, especially after menopause.
Yup, we women can add another fun Greek word to the list of things we have to deal with as we age: “osteopenia,” and its uglier relative, “osteoporosis.”
In my 30s, I exercised to look good. In my 50s, to stay fit. In my 70s, to stay ambulatory. In my 80s, to avoid assisted living. Now, in my 90s, I’m just doing it out of pure defiance.Dick Van Dyke
Let’s face it. Many women, especially those of us over 40, find the idea of lifting weights unfamiliar at best, and scary at worst.
In general, our culture has not historically encouraged girls and women to get strong. Thankfully, the public perception of strength training for younger women and girls has been evolving at a pretty rapid clip over the past 10-15 years. But lifting doesn’t even occur to most older women—think Gen X and up.