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How Lifting Weights Can Improve Longevity

If you’re looking for reasons to exercise, the list is almost endless: increased energy levels, stress reduction, better sleep, and improved mood to name a few. Exercise is vital to our wellbeing and at Guy Gold’s, we encourage each of our clients at our Camden clinic to find a form of exercise that they enjoy. Exercise trends come and go, but the best movement routine is one that you can sustain over the long term.

It’s no secret that keeping fit and healthy through regular exercise will help you to live a longer, fuller life. But what if we told you that it could actually make you look younger and stay fit and healthy well into your later years?

Lifting weights is often regarded as a male-dominated activity favoured by bodybuilders, but it has benefits for everyone. Adding just two sessions of resistance training a week into your routine can positively impact your physiology, especially as you get older. Read on to find out how weightlifting can improve vitality, inside and out:

Increased Muscle Mass

As we age, our muscle mass decreases; after the age of 30, we can lose between 3-8% muscle mass per decade. Growing lean muscle mass will add more definition and contour to skin, making skin look plumper.

Strong muscles will also ensure you have the strength to correctly support your frame, improving your posture. This is key for preventing unnecessary stress and strain on the body.

Increased Blood Flow

All forms of exercise increase blood flow around the body, keeping a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients to skin cells. In the long term, this encourages skin cell regeneration, and in the short term it can leave you with a youthful post-workout ‘glow’.

Hormonal Changes

Lifting weights increases production of human growth hormone, which helps with cell repair and collagen production. Collagen increases skin elasticity (preventing sagging skin), and our bodies produce less of it as we age.

Stress can reduce your body’s production of collagen and elastin (another protein that keeps your skin looking firm and smooth). The stress-reducing effects of exercise will help to keep damaging stress hormones in check.

Changes to DNA

A research paper published in 2007 set out to examine the effects of lifting weights regularly on DNA. Participants from two age groups (older and younger) engaged in twice weekly resistance training sessions.

After 6 months, researchers measured the signs of ageing at a gene level in all participants, and found that in the older participants 179 different genes associated with age and exercise had not only slowed down, but actually reversed.

When starting any new form of exercise, it’s important to ensure you’re doing it safely. Weight training in particular can cause injury as it adds extra strain to muscles performing movements your body may not be used to. To minimise risk of injury, focus on form first: learn how to perform moves properly with bodyweight, and gradually increase the weight from there.

Exercising safely means meeting your body where it’s at. Book a session with our specialised team of osteopaths and physiotherapists at our Camden clinic; a full assessment will identify any imbalances or weaknesses in your body that might be vulnerable to injury, and help you to work with these limitations, rather than against them.

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