Aging muscles can lose strength, mass and mobility if we give in to sedentary behaviors; we can start to experience rapid muscle and joint declines in our early 40s. The key is to create an ongoing habit of movement, activity and strength building. People who have steadily maintained weight and resistance training over their adult years enjoy immunity to many of the chronic conditions related to aging.
You can jump start your strength training by working with relatively light dumbbells while paying careful attention to correct form. My mantra for the Body Electric program has always been “form over function.” In other words, a movement done incorrectly over time will likely create an injury. I have seen people contort their bodies using poor form to accomplish those last few repetitions. The beauty of using dumbbells correctly is that your body will continue to develop to accommodate an increased workload. Therefore, move on to heavier dumbbells only when you can perform an entire exercise with pristine form.
As life expectancy increases, we have to physically prepare for old age, and it is never too early or too late to start the process of physical fitness. Most adults are aware of the need for regular aerobic exercise in the form of walking, swimming, and other activities that increase heart rate. Consistent moderate weight and resistance training showed the best results for long lasting health benefits in older adults, delivering the greatest gains in strength, anaerobic power and mobility. The body has an amazing ability to retain muscle memory, so whether you are starting training before age 30, or later, you will be rewarded with lifelong benefits including independence and a better quality of life.