These days, we all want to delay aging as much as possible. Most adults who care about slowing the aging process already know the value of sunscreen, avoiding smoking, drinking lots of water, eating a good diet, and turning to cosmetic surgery for the final touches. However, there’s something else that can play a huge role in the aging process for older women (and men), it’s strength training.
Research on weight lifting (strength training) has concluded that the anti-aging benefits are numerous, including maintaining muscle mass, increased aerobic capacity, improved bone and joint health, and fatty acid metabolism. Not only that, but strength training can make a body appear dramatically younger than its biological age. One famous example is Ernestine “Ernie” Shepherd, a personal trainer, professional model, and competitive body builder at age 79.
Meet Ernestine Shepherd
At 56-years-old, Ernie had little interest in exercise of any kind. She describes herself back then as a sedentary, well-padded school teacher who had no interest in exercise. It all changed the day she went bathing suit shopping with her sister. As the pair tried on suits, they were laughing at each other and decided it was time to join a gym and get in shape.
Shortly after they started working out, Ernie’s sister died of a brain aneurysm. Devastated, she dropped the gym but a friend suggested she return since it’s what her late sister would have wanted, for her to finish what they started. Today, the 5’5” Ernie weighs in at 130 pounds and has 9 to 10% body fat. She takes no medication and has loads of energy. To read more about her inspirational story, click here and scroll down to view her pictures!
Reasons Why Older Women Should Lift Weights
When people think of getting older, they often think about aging being linked to decreases in muscle mass, balance, flexibility, endurance, speed, metabolism, and increases in body fat. However, much of these declines have more to do with the failure to maintain an active lifestyle than anything else.
Usually, women who have maintained an active lifestyle in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond don’t experience these problems. Or if they do have them at all, they’re usually minor compared to women who gave up an active lifestyle decades earlier.
It’s not that older adults in their 60s and 70s are particularly fragile. Fragility is the byproduct of a sedentary lifestyle and no longer challenging our bodies with exercise, especially weightbearing exercise that helps build muscle and bone mass while increasing the body’s fat burning process.
Benefits of weight training for older adults:
- Improves posture
- One’s body can appear much younger than it is
- Reduces your chances of falling
- Limits bone fragility
- Helps older women be more independent, especially widows
- Reduces “bingo wings,” the flabby skin that hangs from the upper arms
You’re never too old to resume or begin exercising, especially weight training. Before you begin an exercise program, you should consult with your doctor and once you get the green light, you seek the advice of a professional trainer to ensure you take it slow and prevent injuries.
When an older woman is in good shape because of lifting weights, she can ensure her face matches her youthful body by turning to cosmetic surgery, which picks up where a regular weight training routine leaves off. To explore your surgical options, contact us to meet with Dr. Yuly Gorodisky, our board-certified plastic surgeon.