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Why lifting weights is the next fountain of youth

May 20th, 2024 | 3 min. read

By Jen Azevedo

The anti-aging industry is raking in billions each year, preying on our fears of wrinkles, lax skin, and low libidos. Whether it is cosmetic surgery, laser treatments, or supplements, the business to stall getting older is vast. 

Slowing down, not participating in current activities, and potentially facing health problems are justifiable worries. These concerns are why the myth of the fountain of youth continues to pervade our culture. We all want to live long, happy, and healthy lives. The question is, how best can we do that?

The Paseo Club is a social club in the Santa Clarita Valley. It has been in operation for twenty years, helping members of all ages to live their best lives.

In this article, we will share what changes people face as they age, why lifting weights is a way to stay healthy, strong, and fit longer, and how to begin your weight-training program. 

crop_comp_weights - Edited

What are the signs of aging

Beyond the obvious signs of graying hair, wrinkles, and age spots, the aging process begins internally in your 30s. Some common changes are as follows:

  • Metabolism slows, leading to weight gain.
  • Muscles lose strength (sarcopenia), endurance, and flexibility, negatively affecting coordination, stability, and balance.
  • Arteries and blood vessels stiffen, causing your heart to work harder to pump blood. This change increases the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) and other cardiovascular problems.
  • Sensory organs gradually decline. It's typical to develop age-related farsightedness, hearing problems, and a worsening sense of smell and taste.
  • Spinal discs shrink and lose elasticity, which is why people get smaller as they grow older.
  • Bones tend to shrink in size and density, weakening them and making them more susceptible to fracture.
  • Signals take longer to travel along nerves, and brains don't process information as well as they used to. This makes it harder to remember new things and react quickly.
  • Weakening of bladder and pelvic floor muscles may make urination more difficult. Men often face having an enlarged or inflamed prostate.

crop_comp_IMG-2699 - EditedWhy is lifting weights beneficial?

Many people associate lifting weights with bulked-up twenty-somethings powerlifting hundreds of pounds. But weightlifting includes body weight movements, as well as using dumbbells and kettlebells — and the weights don’t have to be in the hundreds to gain benefits.

The advantages of weightlifting are diverse.

  • Builds muscle
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Strengthens bones
  • Improves heart health
  • Improves cognitive skills
  • Reduce the chance of injuries
  • Increases stability and coordination

comp_IMG_2710Why weightlifting matters for longevity

The Centers for Disease Control recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly AND two strength-training days. This guidance is not only for preventative maintenance but also for the management of medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.

Although weightlifting is not a panacea, it does function as an antidote to most age-related issues. 

No matter your current fitness level, you can build muscle, have better mobility and balance, feel stronger, have less joint pain, increase your energy levels, and boost your mood with weight training.

How to lift weights

You do not have to be intimidated by weightlifting. It can be simplified to just a few basic movements.

  • Carry with farmer walks and waiter walks
  • Hinge with deadlifts and kettlebell swings
  • Rotate by doing woodchops, cable rotations, and Pallof presses
  • Pull by rowing, doing lat pulldowns, sled pulls, ring rows, and pull-ups
  • Push with pushups, shoulder presses, bench presses, and sled pushes
  • Squat by performing air squats and weighted squats, lunges, and step-ups

It is best to join a class — or better yet — hire a personal trainer if you have never lifted weights. Weight lifting requires a knowledge of proper technique so you can be safe and maximize your efforts. A personal trainer can also help you develop a weekly routine.  

crop_comp_IMG-2720 - EditedBeginning your weightlifting practice

Happiness and good health are just as valuable in older age as they are in the earlier years. Naturally, there are new challenges as you age. But eating well, avoiding smoking, minimizing alcohol intake, and lifting weights will help you be as healthy as possible – both mentally and physically.

In this article, you learned about the aging process, why weightlifting is good for aging adults, and how to begin to lift weights.

The Paseo Club offers over 60 fitness classes each week, including several that emphasize strength training. There are also many small group sessions and personal trainers to choose from when you want more one-on-one attention.

If you want to join a health and fitness community in the Santa Clarita Valley, the Paseo Club may be the place for you. Become a member and have all your fitness, social, and family needs under one roof. 

Jen Azevedo

Jen Azevedo is a tennis professional, pickleball professional, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and the general manager of the Paseo Club. She loves the community at the Paseo Club and that it is also a safe and fun place for her daughter. Jen’s favorite activities are joining her tribe for trail races or her partners for tennis matches. Occasionally Jen slows down to relax with a book — she reads over 100 a year!