Women, Aging and Strength

Posted: March 24, 2013

Hi Girls!

Time to get strong, and plan for the future. I’m talking about a plan of implementing Functional Strength into your life. Do you even know what that term means? As women, we are great at multi-tasking. We can manage a job, and a family, maybe even plan for retirement, but what about our strength levels? I recently spoke to a women’s group about why it is imperative that you start planning for the future with a strength training program. Why you need to protect yourself from being a statistic, and protect yourself from injury. We carry kids, groceries, luggage, laptops and heavy purses, but why is it that I never hear of someone “throwing out their back” in the gym. The only place anyone gets injured is in every day life. Why are we not able to perform daily tasks without getting hurt? Why? Because we don’t know how to lift, push, carry, bend, squat, or reach our own weight or an object the right way. We use our backs, and lean too far forward. We don’t have balance, and we certainly don’t have strength. So what do you think happens as we age? We get weaker, and lose muscle mass. We get injured. We worry about how we will afford medical care and bills. Why do we not use preventative measures?

Instead of a wellness society, we are a society based on sickness. We don’t prevent, we try to fix when it could be too late. What if I told you that you are already losing muscle mass at a rate of about 5% per decade, after the age of 30? After the age of 70, that number doubles. This is preventable. If you are involved in a strength or weight training program, you can ward off this problem. The medical term for age related muscle loss is Sarcopenia. I plan on never seeing that on a chart with my name on it. I am investing in my future. I want to be strong enough to take care of myself. I don’t want to have to worry about if my insurance will cover injuries, medication, and housing.

I am not talking about Zumba class. I am not talking about sitting on a machine pushing 10 pounds while looking around and the machine is doing the work for you. I am talking about focusing and learning what a muscle feels like when it is working the right way. I am talking about engaging your body in physical activity. Physical activity that involves balance. Physical activity that places a demand on the body that it is not used to. Learning the proper way to engage your legs and glutes and core, while you are picking up and putting down an object. Learning how to bend, and twist, while clenching your abdominals and your glutes. Knowing what your glutes are! Feeling what a muscle feels like when it is engaged. Sometimes I have someone just sit on the edge of a chair, and slowly stand up while squeezing their glutes and slowly lower with control. It is amazing how many people can’t quite control the lowering part of the movement. This is not an exercise. This is daily life. This is why people get hurt shoveling, lifting grandkids, and grabbing the milk from the trunk. Daily life demands strength.

Plan on getting stronger. Plan on starting a strength training program with someone that understands functional movements. Some trainers are better than others. Stop working out to lose weight! Work out to get stronger, and create a body that can take you into old age without injury. Get stronger to create balance. Get stronger to strengthen your ligaments, your tendons and your bones. Learn how to prevent injury and to look forward to an active future!
Get Stronger Now!

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