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  • Writer's pictureMiriam McCrea

The Importance of Strength Training for Women Over 45

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

As women reach their mid-40s and beyond, they often experience changes in their bodies, including a decline in muscle mass, bone density, and metabolism. Strength training is a crucial component of maintaining overall health and well-being for people of all ages. Contrary to popular belief (“It’s dangerous”, or “I don’t want to get bulky”), strength training offers numerous benefits specifically tailored to the unique needs of women over 45.

Counteracting Age-Related Muscle Loss:

After the age of 30, adults tend to lose muscle mass at a rate of approximately 3-5% per decade. This process, known as sarcopenia, accelerates during and after menopause. Strength training, such as weightlifting or resistance exercises, helps preserve and increase muscle mass, allowing women over 45 to maintain strength, gaining enhanced stability and confidence.






Enhancing Bone Health:

Osteoporosis, a condition characterized by decreased bone density and increased fracture risk, becomes a significant concern for women during and after menopause. Strength training plays a vital role in preventing and managing osteoporosis by stimulating bone formation and density. Weight-bearing exercises can improve bone strength and reduce the risk of fractures, helping women maintain long-term skeletal health.





Boosting Metabolism and Weight Management:

With age, metabolism tends to slow down, making it easier for women to gain weight and harder to lose it. When I was in my mid-40s, I remember my cousin saying, “It’s three times the work for half the result.” - that really hit home! Strength training offers a unique advantage in increasing resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is the number of calories burned at rest. By building lean muscle mass, women can elevate their metabolism, resulting in more effective weight management and increased fat burning, even when not working out.


Improving Joint Health and Flexibility:

As the body ages, joint mobility and flexibility often decrease, leading to stiffness and an increased risk of injury. Strength training exercises, combined with a good flexibility training regimen, can enhance joint health, improve flexibility, and reduce discomfort associated with aging. Stronger muscles also provide better support to the joints, reducing the likelihood of joint-related issues.






Enhancing Mental and Emotional Well-being:

Engaging in regular strength training workouts releases endorphins, the body's natural mood-boosting hormones, promoting overall mental well-being. The sense of accomplishment, improved self-esteem, and increased body confidence resulting from progressing in strength training can have a profound impact on women's emotional health. Additionally, exercise has been linked to reduced stress, anxiety, and improved cognitive function. As a result, I make sure to move my body every single day.


Strength training holds immense value for women over 45, offering a range of physical and mental benefits. By actively engaging in a well-rounded strength training program, women can counteract the age-related decline in muscle mass, enhance bone health, manage weight effectively, improve joint function and flexibility, and experience increased mental well-being.


I work with a variety of tools and props in my practice, including free weights, stability & Pilates balls, kettlebells, TRX, resistance bands, foam rollers and more, that are easily adapted to all ages, abilities, and locations (i.e., working out from home, while travelling, etc.). As a result, all programs are tailor-made, as everyone has unique needs and goals. I love demystifying exercises and gym equipment with my clients, and seeing them walk with more grace and confidence as the weeks go on.


If you’re interested in training with me, or if you have any questions, feel free to send me a DM!


Yours in health,

Miriam


2 Comments


jordilotus
Jul 20, 2023

I am really enjoying your amazing blog! Thank you for the inspiration, Miriam! ❤

Jordi

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Miriam McCrea
Miriam McCrea
Jul 29, 2023
Replying to

Glad that you’re inspired! Here’s to getting strong.

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