“Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

When a women over 45 tells me she does not want to lift weights as she does not want to “bulk up” I just want to scream. 

At age 35 we begin to steadily lose muscle mass. You don’t see many 18 or 20 year old worrying about “toning up” do you? That loss of muscle tone and loss of muscle strength is just flat lost muscle. You can get it back with weight training.

helpivefallenRemember the commercial that we have all seen for Lifealert, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Coming from the perspective of middle age or younger, I had always assumed that she was injured in the fall. However, she did not say, “Help, I’m hurt, and I can’t get up.” I work with folks with age related muscle loss, and I understand the importance of weight training as we age. I had a revelation, and maybe it did not occur to you. The elderly lady on the floor couldn’t get up because she was too weak. She did not have the muscle strength to get herself off of a floor!

The University of Cambridge studied 90 women  over-75 in the Cohort Study of aging and health. During the one year study, 60 percent of participants reported falling, and of those who fell, 80 percent or four out of five, needed help getting up, and 30 percent remained on the floor for over an hour.

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One method of improving strength with aging is to get enough calories from protein each day, in each meal, to sustain muscle mass.  Growth hormones in our younger years provide new cell growth, and we often do not have to eat and exercise as diligently to maintain strength and muscle tone the same way that is needed later in life. As a result strength and muscle decrease year after year that we do not maintain it. 

The primary treatment for age related muscle loss, also known as sarcopenia or skinnyfat,  is exercise, especially strength training. Muscle growth and muscle strength are often referred to as “muscle tone.” Muscle tone is essentially a euphamism for the onset of muscle firmness. Greater muscle size is only achieved after the muscle has first firmed, grown, and strengthened.

Turn back the clock on aging and strength train!

http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/sns-health-older-people-fall-research-story.html

http://www.bodybuilding.com/content/forever-fit-goals-for-every-phase-of-a-womans-life.html

http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/sarcopenia-with-aging

 

 

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Cardio is short for cardiovascular. In the exercise world, this is running, treadmill, elliptical, aerobics, Zumba, kickboxing, plyometrics, biking, walking, swimming, and more. Cardio is a fairly regular movement repeated for purpose of getting your heart rate up. It’s all good.runner

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Back to workouts!

Welcome to my primer on working your back. Everyone needs a strong back to protect the spine, and to balance all that work you’ve been doing to build your chest!

I have provided a plan and some variations for chest exercises in an earlier blog post.Weak upper body? Train chest! As I mentioned in the post for triceps, you should also work biceps for balance and strength. If you only work one side of a muscle pair, then you will create some issues of their own, and at a minimum the first issue will be a lack of overall strength. Therefore since we have muscle exercises for our chest, we also need muscle exercises for the back! Continue reading

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The best advice I received early on in my fitness revolution and kickoff of my midlife transformation is, “don’t go to the gym without a plan.” I have stuck to that every day for the last two years.  

Don’t fall into the trap of feel good fitness. That is where you do enough to get sweaty and think you will receive gains and big calorie burns. Continue reading

Weak upper body? Train chest!

The ability to push, to push yourself up off of the bed, the floor, to hold yourself with good posture and to maintain good mobility are foundational reasons to train your chest. Women have a love/hate relationship with their chest. They want them bigger or smaller or perkier. Honestly, training your chest has little to do with the your breast tissue real or implants. Breast tissues are made up of glands and ducts for milk production and fat cells. Training the muscle lying underneath will make you stronger.  What can affect the breast size is the fat loss as you lose body fat, and that can come from cardio, diet and any weightloss efforts, but chest strength will never steer you wrong. Continue reading

Resolution Motivation

Two years ago I was determined. More than a resolution, I was fed up and disgusted with myself. I made the remark internally that if I had to become a gym rat I would lose the weight and most importantly not gain another pound that year. However, I was clueless about what to do with myself.  Been there done that in aerobics classes all my life and in a multitude of dance fit classes in 2013.  Prior, I had tried at-home video workouts that worked for a while. After 6 months of the same videos I was ready to poke my eyes out and initial weight loss had seemed to stall along with my motivation to do the same thing over and over. Continue reading

Lose 20 pounds? What I learned….

www.fitatfiftysamantha.com I groaned for YEARS about wanting to loose weight. My goal for all those years was vague. I wanted to lose 20 pounds, I would have been happy with 10. The struggle is real.

What I learned from my years of wishful thinking, too little effort, and in contrast to becoming a fit athlete is this: Continue reading