Article featured on Grace of No age

Too late to start getting strong? Not sure why you would want to?

Building strength is an incredibly important goal to focus on, no matter what your age. And the good news is: it’s never too late.

As women we are often discouraged from getting strong. There has been a general consensus in the past that getting strong will make you ‘bulky’, ‘masculine’ or ‘unattractive’. Sadly this type of disinformation and conditioning only serves to prevent women from experiencing the liberation and health benefits that building strength can give them.

The physical benefits

On a physiological level weight bearing exercise has many benefits:

  • It fortifies your body and joints. As we age we lose muscle tissue and collagen at an increasing rate. Low impact, weight bearing exercise will help build or at least retain muscle tissue and collagen, strengthen your joints and make you less prone to injury and can reduce pain from existing conditions. The collagen and growth hormone benefits also help with the appearance of skin, hair and nails.
  • It improves your physical performance. Not only is this handy for sports and activities but it makes day-to-day life a lot easier, carrying goods, moving furniture, walking upstairs, carrying and doing activities with kids/grandkids, things we may not usually associate with the gym.
  • It helps you to achieve better body composition. As we age our metabolism begins to slow, but by increasing muscle tissue we can speed up the metabolism. Lifting weights can help you lose or maintain weight as you age. It will also give you a more ‘toned’ appearance.
  • It creates denser bones. Want stronger bones and better posture? Lifting will make you less likely to experience breakages and bone disease like osteoporosis and arthritis.
  • It improves your cardiovascular health and help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
  • There are many other associated benefits like improved sleep, greater hormonal balance to consider also.

The psychological benefits

Weight bearing exercise can help fortify not only your physiology against ageing, but also your psychology. Our brains crave challenge and adversity. Giving our brains a physical stimulus in a form of a challenging workout can help build resilience, skills, mental fortitude and confidence in our own capabilities. This can also translate to better body image, and an increased sense of security and independence. Becoming strong physically can empower you and make you realise how strong and capable you are mentally.

The benefits to others

If we can lead by example and teach our daughters, granddaughters and future generations the importance of a strong mind and respect for our body, we enable them to live happier, healthier lives. This may lead to them escaping many of traps that lead to a poor relationship to self, to their bodies, to food and to toxic relationships with others. And that is one of the greatest benefits of getting strong and healthy.

Katie Masters.

Aging. Body Health. Mental Wellbeing. Women’s Empowerment.