You are never too old to start exercising. Resistance exercise is about gaining body strength, and this is important at any age. Resistance exercise has many benefits including increasing or maintaining muscle strength as you get older (muscle loss associated with age is called sarcopenia) and preserving bone strength (reducing your risk of osteoporosis). Maintaining strength, balance and mobility improves your functional ability to do daily activities. Being fit and healthy helps you get the most of your life.
Gaining body strength is important for everyone. That is why the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines for resistance exercise are the same for men and women – at least twice per week.
The benefits of resistance exercise include gains in strength but this doesn’t have to come with “bulk” as many people might think. Resistance exercise can develop muscle definition and reduce your waist circumference, which in itself is a risk factor for disease.
There is evidence that the results of dieting for weight loss, with or without exercise, are different for men and women. For example, men often start at a heavier weight and therefore lose more weight when dieting compared to women. Women tend to lose more off their hip circumference but also lose more lean muscle (or fat free mass). So it might be particularly important for women to do resistance exercise during weight loss to maintain this lean muscle mass and strength.
Interestingly in the members we surveyed, women were more likely to report lifting weight or toning exercise as being important for weight loss – whereas men thought walking and jogging were the two most important types of exercise for weight loss.
Please Note: Before commencing any weight loss or exercise program we recommend speaking to a health professional (Doctor, Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist) to ensure you are following a safe and suitable exercise regime.