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Lifting weights as you get older

When we imagine someone weight-lifting many of us will conjure up an image of a young, fit adult standing in a gym lifting large weights. But as our myth buster on Tuesday stated, weight-lifting is not just for young people in gyms but can be good for everyone from middle age onwards.

Sarcopenia is a process where we naturally lose muscle mass as we age, starting around the age of 40 and accelerating after 50. Evidence shows that by the time we reach 80 we will lose over 40% of our muscle mass. Research has also shown that a period of illness or an operation can lead to an additional loss of 5% of a person’s muscle mass in just 1 week.

This loss of muscle mass has significant physical, mental and metabolic effects on us. Getting up from low chairs or the floor is more difficult, walking up hills and across uneven terrain are greater challenges and lifting heavy objects is harder.

The good news is that it is possible to combat this natural loss of muscle mass with strength training. This can involve lifting weights in a gym setting or doing exercises at home using your body weight or resistance bands or household objects to increase your strength and build up muscle mass.

It can be wise to see a physiotherapist prior to commencing strength training if you have any musculoskeletal, joint, neurological or health problems to design a programme that is tailored to you. Joining a strength class can be a great option and we have over 10 classes a week at Harbourside Physiotherapy that might suit you. Please visit our website or get in touch for more information.  

Call Harbourside today on 01736 366224 or email us at to find out more about the services we offer & to get booked in with one of our experienced team.

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