We all know we don’t get enough exercise, but what is most often overlooked by the average American is the variations in exercise routines that ensure every aspect of your body’s wellness is tested and improved. According to recommendations by the American College of Sports Medicine, adults should perform cardiovascular and flexibility exercises between 3-5 times per week, but weight resistance training is often overlooked by those who need it most: women. Just 17.5% of all American women meet or exceed the strength training recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control compared to 23% of all American men, but some experts say a stigma against lifting weights may be depressing that number amongst active women.

The unfortunate reality is that women may actually find greater benefit from regular resistance training than men. Because weight training has been proven to improve bone density, reduce the risk of later-life fractures, and strengthen bone-supporting joints and tissues, a regular resistance training regimen could help prevent serious conditions such as osteoporosis, which women are more likely to develop than men.

But older women can find benefits in regular strength training, too. A Canadian study showed the relationship between resistance training on a twice-weekly basis and improved cognitive performance in women aged 70-80 years old, showing that even those in the stages of early onset Alzheimer’s will help slow the disease’s advancement. Starting with simple exercises like squats and following the direction of an experienced trainer, older people can safely and effectively strengthen their major muscle groups and stave off effects of memory loss and compromised cognitive function.

A recent study in Obesity, a medical journal, suggests that because one’s muscles are responsible for levels of metabolism, those who seek to strengthen their bodies also reduce excess body fat and improve energy levels. In fact, weight training can also have a greater impact on one’s body fat than even regular cardio.

Moreover, the rate of muscle loss in women accelerates rapidly post menopause, increasing the risk of falls and fractures in later life, but also limiting one’s independence. Without adequate muscle mass, simple, everyday tasks such as climbing stairs or carrying grocery bags could become much more difficult.

For more information on improving your health and well-being regardless of your age, schedule a consultation with Dr. Iris Crawford at Naturkur Wellness Center in Seattle today!