We recommend that you incorporate two sessions per week focusing on strengthening your body’s structures. Resistance training, which is a technical way of saying training with weights or using your own body weight for resistance, when combined with adequate protein consumption and rest, will lead to a strengthening of your muscles, tendons and ligaments.
As we age, our strength levels slowly decline naturally. Generally speaking, most people slow down the older they get. The active vitality of youth can tend to decline with the passing of years. To compensate for this, it is very important to incorporate an amount of strength training as a part of your weekly routine.
We do not suggest that you go crazy lifting heavy weights every day, which can lead to injury. All that is required for a healthy life is a sensible level of strength training which is conducive to the health of the body.
We recommend strength training twice a week with each session separated by three days, and lasting no longer than 30 minutes per session. Ideally, if you can schedule it, you should train prior to eating. Fasted cardio in the morning has a purpose of depleting your carbohydrate reserves. Strength training however aims to increase muscle strength, and this is done by feeding the trained muscle with protein – ideally shortly after your strength training session.
You can train your body effectively with the most basic of equipment. Some suggestions for exercises to strengthen specific body parts include:
- Lower body: squats, lunges, calf raises;
- Core and midsection: static plank for 60 seconds;
- Back and biceps: dumbbell rows and curls;
- Chest and triceps: push ups (on your knees at first);
- Shoulders: dumbbell shoulder presses.
We recommend that you train in the following sequence, training every third day:
- Day 1: Lower Body and Core;
- Day 2: Back, biceps and Core;
- Day 3: Chest, triceps and shoulders, and Core.
Do three sets of each exercise, using an amount of weight which will allow you to achieve 10 repetitions (reps) per set, without excessive strain. You can buy a perfectly usable set of dumbbells at any fitness supply store, and they will last you a lifetime.
If you are extremely overweight or you find a particular exercise very difficult, please be kind to yourself. Do not push yourself beyond your limits. Be realistic.
Going to failure is not the objective here. We simply want you to routinely activate your muscles by resistance training as a normal part of your life. It is far more important to be consistent in good habits over many years, than wreck yourself with crazy training routines.
Remember, you are probably not training to compete in the Olympic Games. You are probably not a professional athlete. You are likely a normal person, wanting to live a happy, healthy, longer life. These simple exercises will greatly assist.
Remember also that if you are following our advice and doing cardiovascular exercise using an incline treadmill every day, this in itself over time is a tremendous lower body strengthening workout, as you are activating more than 40% of your body’s muscles in walking on an incline.
By eating whole foods, you will be consuming more than enough protein every day to ensure that your muscles are well fed after training, ensuring that you retain a healthy amount of strength for the term of your life.