Lifting: The workout with benefits now and later

Health

As we age, we lose muscle and bone density at a rapid rate. One way to combat the loss is through strength training.

Only 6% of adults do the recommended amount of strength training workouts each week, which is why Penn State Extension has an 8-week program for adults over 40.

LIFT stands for “lifelong improvements through fitness together.” The program meets twice a week which is the recommended amount. Doing a warm-up, total body lift, and a cool down.

Participants see improvements in strength, balance, flexibility, and more.

“Besides physical benefits of reducing the risk of osteoporosis and arthritis, which we are at risk for as we get older, we can also increase our mental health. Studies have shown a decrease in our risk for depression and anxiety,” Katie Greenawalt MS, CHES, Extension Educator, Food, Families & Health, said.

Katie says after age 40, muscle mass decreases by about 3 to 5% each decade.

With a doctor’s clearance, anyone at any age can and should strength train. In addition to increasing muscle mass and bone density, strength training increases metabolism, improves sleep quality, and reduces the risk of chronic disease.

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