By: Guest Author
Published: October 14, 2021
Written By Ainsley Lawrence- Guest Contributor
As we age, our bodies naturally become weaker. That isn’t something everyone likes to hear, but it’s true. It also doesn’t mean you have to fall victim to the “senior stereotypes” of sitting around in a rocking chair, knitting a sweater.
In fact, there is never a more important time to gain and maintain muscle strength than when you’re older.
Age causes us to lose muscle mass. Menopause speeds up that process, leaving bones and muscles weaker than they were before.
So, what can women do to safely and effectively stay strong as they get older? It’s easier than you might think, and you can experience full-body benefits from taking care of your muscle health.
Finding Physical Activities You Enjoy
Weight training can sound grueling, even though it’s the best way to build muscle. The idea of lifting heavy weights is intimidating, especially for people who have never done it before. Thankfully, lifting dumbbells isn’t the only way to weight train.
Gaining muscle doesn’t even have to include going to the gym. If you already know you’re not a “gym person,” don’t force yourself. You could be setting yourself up for failure before you even get started.
Even people with the best of intentions often have a hard time sticking to a workout regimen. Some of the common causes for quitting include:
● Workouts that are too hard
● Exercises that don’t fit their lifestyle
● Boring or uninteresting workouts
Obviously, no one wants to exercise if they’re not enjoying themselves. So, try to find workouts that focus on building muscle while piquing your interest. That could include anything from rock climbing to heading to your local firing range. Yes, shooting a gun can be a great physical workout (with mental health benefits to boot). You’ll have to use your core and arm strength to hold a firearm properly and keep it under control as it recoils.
Strength training isn’t just about hitting the gym and lifting weights or using bands. There are plenty of opportunities to build muscle strength while doing something you truly enjoy. Everything from gardening to hill walking can do more for your muscles than you might realize.
Boosting Your Nutrition
Most women are interested in gaining long, lean muscle. You probably don’t want to end up looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger as you get older, but having some definition and strength is important.
So, in addition to exercising regularly, you must fuel your body for muscle health, too. Post-menopausal women need to be extremely conscious of their diet and choose nutrient-rich foods that will benefit their entire bodies. When you’re trying to gain muscle strength, some of those foods include:
● Chicken breast
● Greek yogurt
● Green, leafy vegetables
These foods are designed to repair and restore muscle strength while keeping your body in better shape.
Supplements and herbs can also help. They’re a great way to naturally gain and maintain strength while keeping your muscles healthy, too. Herbs like Ashwagandha, golden root, and echinacea all have muscle-building benefits.
In addition to eating properly, make sure your body is getting enough rest. Adequate sleep is just as important as what you eat and drink, and how much you work out. It gives your muscles a chance to repair and rebuild and reduces the risk of getting injured. Eating right will make it easier to get a good night’s rest since you’re less likely to experience digestive issues caused by processed or fatty foods.
Understanding the Benefits
Not everyone loves exercising, no matter how fun the activity is. We find excuses to be “lazy”, which might feel good at the time. But, you’re not doing your body any favors, in the long run. Even during menopause, regular exercise can help you get through, but taking it one step further with strength training can offer you more long-term benefits.
Understanding those benefits of gaining muscle strength and weight training, especially as you age, can give you the necessary motivation to make it a priority. Some of those benefits include:
● Reduced stress
● Better mood
● Reduced risk of injuries
● Stronger bones
You can also reduce your risk of conditions like heart disease and diabetes. If you already have an illness or ailment, regular exercise and strength training can help to alleviate some of the symptoms. For example, it’s not uncommon to experience gastrointestinal issues as we age. If you’re dealing with something like GERD, working out your core muscles can help your symptoms to weaken.
Menopause can cause women to feel weaker and more easily fatigued. But, you don’t have to give in to those stereotypes. Finding the motivation to strength train is important for your overall health and longevity.
You are what you eat, and what you do with your body. Keep moving, keep building your strength, and you’ll find it’s easier to age gracefully while looking and feeling your best. There’s nothing better than feeling strong, especially as you get older. You have the opportunity to fight back against muscle depletion, and now is a perfect time to do it.
Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer that lives in the Northwest region of the United States. She has a particular interest in covering topics related to good health, balanced life, and better living through technology. When not writing, her free time is spent reading and researching to learn more about her cultural and environmental surroundings. You can follow her on Twitter @AinsleyLawrenc3
The views expressed herein this article, written by a guest contributor, do not necessarily represent those of the Red Hot Mamas organization. The content is for informational purposes and should not substitute the advice of your doctor.