I finish out my fifties in twelve months. Since my grandparents and great-grandparents lived into their late nineties, my goal for the long haul is to remain strong. I realize if I’m not building muscle strength, I’m losing it. I teach a Body & Soul Strength and Flexibility class at my church two days a week. Why? Because I need it. Plus, when I’m working out with others, I’ll show up.
In 2010, when I reached my healthy goal, it was just in time for the hormone roller coaster, menopause. There is a reason the calorie range charts reduce by 200 calories per day for women when they reach age 51 and men age 61. As our hormones change (men included), our bodies age, and expend less energy. If we don’t decrease our food intake, increase our activity level, and build muscle mass, you guessed it, we gain weight. Plus, the weight we do gain as we age tends to settle around our mid-section.
Our March 2019 webinar focused on the Metabolic Syndrome*. Waist size was one of the five indicators. One of the solutions to Metabolic Syndrome is regular physical activity, including building and maintaining muscle. Since maintaining my weight is also a primary goal, I need a healthy metabolism, which includes strong muscles.
If you are like me, you’ll be more successful when you train with other people. In 2011, I hired a personal trainer who specialized in helping people get started. She worked one on one with me for over a year. Later, I joined a gym and attended group fitness classes using hand weights, resistance bands, and my own body weight to strengthen my muscles. I learned to love High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT is has a two-for-one benefit increasing your heart rate at intervals and building muscle.
In 2014, divine power propelled me to do more than I could ever imagine, becoming a Body and Soul Fitness instructor. I enjoy teaching strength training, since that is what I most needed help getting started. Strength training results in a wonderful weariness that lets me know my muscles are stronger. The next day as I reach, bend, or lift, I feel the new stronger muscles.
I’ve heard it said that strong is the new skinny. I agree. If you need help getting started, check out Strength Training 101 in the FP4H book, My Place For Fitness, starting on page 77. Mary Ward, the author, has the right attitude. She writes, “Strength Training should be an exerciser’s best friend.” Is it time for you to get to know a new best friend?
Helen Baratta Director of Development for First Place for Health. She is the author of My Place for Leadership included in the My Place Leader’s Kit and Restored! Embracing Weight Loss God’s Way available at our online bookstore.
*Webinar – Metabolic Syndrome https://youtu.be/uhVlAMJ6_-8
My Place For Fitness, https://www.firstplaceforhealth.com/shop/my-place-for-fitness/