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The older you get the more you need to exercise and not just doing ten minutes on the treadmill but actually doing physical workout. If we don’t do it, we will lose strength and flexibility as we age. We also become more prone to a host of health problems if we adopt a sedentary lifestyle or walk around the block without breathing hard.

In addition to the effects of the aging process, many of us are plagued with stress from moving, loss of a loved one, downsizing our lifestyle and/or becoming empty-nesters.

It doesn’t matter what age you are. I recently read the story of a centenarian who does resistance training three days per week and says she will never stop doing it because it makes her feel alive and energetic.

Challenges to weight training

Lifting weight can be addictive as a recent study indicated. The only challenge is to start doing it. Many people shy away from weights because they don’t want to feel embarrassed or get injured or think they will get too bulky. However, once they learn how to do various resistance routines correctly, they quickly change their thinking towards weight training. Almost immediately, they start feeling stronger and more energized . . . which gives them renew confidence.

One of the big challenges to starting a weight lifting program is being embarrassed to be around other exercisers because you think they are judging you. Know this: Everyone at the gym is there for a purpose. Some are there to tone their bodies, others are there to get stronger while others are doing what they can to prevent diabetes. Many are be beginners or advanced . . . just like you.

Have a definite plan or goal in mind when doing resistance training – whether it’s to tone, get stronger, improve your stability or improve respiration . . . and focus your energies on doing it.

Another barrier for some is making time to start and follow through. We all have twenty-four hours in our day. It can’t be too difficult to allocate a few minutes, four days per week – half an hour to forty-five minutes each day, to improve your health and extend your life.

It’s easy to avoid injuries which can be a deterrent for many. When done correctly, weight training can be fun and injury free. Seek out the help and guidance of a personal trainer to make sure you get started the right way.

Whenever it feels like it’s getting boring, change up the routine. Instead of doing squats do lunges or some variation. Instead of bench pressing do dumbbell presses. If you don’t feel like using weights use cables like I do. It’s a great way to activate your muscles since you get tension with the negative as well as the pushing movement.

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Some benefits to doing weight training

Let’s look at some of the great benefits of doing weight training . . .

One of the best results from lifting weights is the after-burn you get . . . up to 24 hours later. This means you are still torching calories the next day.

Build muscles and get stronger – After a short time of doing weights you will start building toned muscles while getting stronger in the process.

Lifting weights will give you healthier skin and complexion when combined with cardiovascular exercises.

You will improve you posture and stability by targeting certain muscles and doing a proper flexibility routine.

Of course, you will lose weight and your body will look more toned instead of flabby.

Your bones will become more denser and stronger which helps to prevent bones issues . . . especially as we age.

Talk about a great confidence builder. When you feel stronger and more energetic you will be more confident and not easily intimidated.

You will meet new friends who are on the same journey as yourself.

So how do you get started?

Join the YMCA or the local rec center in your community or inquire at the high school near you or community center for classes or read blogs like this one to get instructions on how to do various weight bearing exercises.

Get a workout buddy who can motivate and push you to accomplish your goals. Don’t forget: it works both ways – you push and encourage them also.

Get your family and friends involved since this will be a great bonding activity.

This is not just a one and done but should become a way of life.

Remember weight training is not just for experienced athletes but for everyday people like you and me.

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