Fit Tip: Less is More & Strong is Sexy
A strong body is a healthy body, and an attractive one as well. There is nothing more appealing than the look of sleek, toned muscles in every stage of life. But even more important than the way a strong body looks is the way it feels. Strength feels healthy, confident, resilient, and youthful. However, we do start losing muscle mass as early as the age of 30, and it is harder to build muscle tissue as we get older. But it is possible.
I recently overheard two women over 50 bemoaning the fact that they couldn’t build muscles even though they were faithfully lifting weights at the gym three times a week under the supervision of a young personal trainer who was pushing them to use heavier weights and do more reps. Unfortunately, the only results they experienced were aches, pains, and injuries. But no muscles.
We do need resistance training, but heavy weights can cause injuries to your joints and soft tissue surrounding them. There is a much better and more effective way to build build lean, strong, supple muscles as we get older. And that is to do less, not more. Work smarter not harder. I know, it contradicts the “no pain, no gain” mentality, but how’s that working out for you?
It sounds counterintuitive, but even just 2 pound weights can build muscle mass as long as the exercises are done correctly, by moving slowly and mindfully with each exercise or movement pattern. This helps recruit more individual muscle fibers along with the nerve fiber that innervates them, thus making the muscles work harder while protecting your joints at the same time. You can gradually add more weight as you get stronger and start developing more muscle tissue.
You can get even more bang for your buck by doing functional strengthening by doing chair push ups, wall push ups, slow mini squats, as well as activating your abdominal muscles at the same time to strengthen your core and keep your spine strong and healthy. I have a lot more to say on the subject, but I’ll save it for another time.
In the meantime, remember that less is more, and strong is sexy. So, keep moving and be healthy!