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As early as our 30s, muscle strength and bone density begin to decline. When we hit our 40s, a drop in levels of growth hormone leads to reduced muscle mass, increased fat and reduced energy levels. In turn, this all contributes to a slower metabolism. Women may also notice more fat storage around the abdomen due to a drop in oestrogen and should be aware that this also causes a sharp decrease in bone density.
The good news is that we can help to counteract these processes with resistance training - the most effective way to strengthen bones and muscles. Any weight-bearing aerobic exercise will help; for example, walking and tennis stress the bone mechanically, forcing it to adapt and become stronger. Lifting weights, however, has the edge because it can build both muscle strength and capacity in the tendons and ligaments that connect the bone to muscle. It also involves the hips, spine and wrists, strengthening the bones in these sites which are the most likely to fracture as we age. And there's something for everyone: bodyweight exercises, plus even Yoga and Pilates help build muscle strength and load the bone.
In short, there's a form of strength training for everyone, whatever age or ability you are – it's never too late to start. The benefits are endless and the work you put in now will see you reap the rewards both in the short and long-term. Just remember you can't out-train a bad diet so none of the above will count for nearly as much if you're not mindful about what you put in your body.
Talk to one of our Wellness Travel Specialists on 0203 397 8891 or contact us here to discuss tailor-making your ideal fitness retreat!
Eleanor is a Level 3-qualified personal trainer who works with clients of all ages and levels of fitness. Her tailored programmes incorporate a mixture of low/high intensity interval training plus resistance work and she is qualified to advise on nutrition to compliment this. She is also a single mum to a 5-year-old boy so recognises the challenges of balancing a busy schedule with a healthy lifestyle.
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