Running and Strength Training as We Age

Running and strength training as we age is increasingly more important. This is because training can help you counteract the natural side-effects of aging such as muscle loss and deteriorating health. From your 30s well past retirement, a regular routine of running and full-body fitness can help you stay vibrant, vigorous, and strong - counteracting the body's natural drop in metabolism and muscle maintenance. Learn about the importance of strength training as we age!

The Risk of Muscle Loss with Age

Sarcopenia is the process of muscle loss as we age. You may remember your teenage years, when youth often maintain muscle tone even when living on potato chips and loafing around most of the day. As we get older, maintaining healthy muscle tone and physical strength becomes more challenging. Humans reach their muscular peak between 25 and 35, and from there, begin to naturally lose muscle mass over time at about 3% to 8% per year.

By the age of 50 or 60, muscle loss accelerates. This is why many elderly people have greater difficulty moving, lifting, and eventually performing self-care tasks over time. As muscle is lost, so too is balance and independence. Fortunately, muscle loss is something you can counteract through intentional muscle building.

Conquering the Muscle Loss Equation

The muscle loss equation means that you will slowly lose the muscle that you already have. But there's no rule that says you can't build muscle faster than you lose it. The more muscle you have, the more tolerance you have for the loss. This means that anyone can conquer the the loss equation by ensuring that the muscle lost does not exceed the muscle you gain. You can maintain your strength or even become stronger over time by outpacing the rate of loss through strength training.  

Why Strength Training Becomes More Important Over Time

For those in their middle years, avoiding muscle loss is a matter of staying fit. But as you get older, it becomes a matter of independence. Most elderly people worry about the day they will need assistance doing daily tasks. The reason for this is muscle loss over time. Older people begin to lose their ability to balance, lift objects, or even walk steadily because of muscle loss. You need stabilizing muscles to balance yourself and lifting muscles to perform even a simple routine. But this kind of loss isn't necessary. Seniors who focus on strength training have an easier time maintaining their independence because they are working against the steady rate of muscle loss.

While muscle loss does become more challenging with each decade of life, the right exercise can keep seniors walking and independent for many years longer than unchallenged muscular progress. In fact, the earlier you start, the better.

It's Never Too Early (or late) to Start Running & Strength Training

Strength training is a way to build your muscle mass and tone by pushing your muscles a little further with each workout. It is not only a way to get strong, but also a way of putting muscles "in the bank" to counteract muscle loss that occurs with age. The more muscle you have, the longer it will take to become feeble over time, even if you must stop exercising for a while due to injury or illness.

It is never too early, or too late, to begin strength training. If you are in your 30s, getting a head start on building muscle is a great way to prolong your life and plan ahead for mobile, independent golden years. If you are already a retired senior, strength training will help you maintain your mobility and independence. It can even help you regain balance and strength that you had already lost and prolong your time living comfortably on your own. 

Build the Perfect Running Routine

The best way to stay fit and strong as you age is to build the perfect running routine that you maintain every week. Set a schedule, plan your routes, and equip yourself with a well-balanced runner's belt that can hold your water bottle, phone, and wallet essentials without throwing off your gait. FlipBelt makes it possible for runners of all ages to maintain a reliable running routine for strength and vitality through design, security, and convenience.

Contact us today or explore the blog for more tips and supplies to build a long-lasting running routine and strength training plan.

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