By Sean Darcy (Dr. Sean Darcy MD)
Regular weight training can help reduce body fat, help strengthen your bones, prevent arthritis, reduce pain and increase your ability to burn calories at a faster rate. I won’t bore you with the math of how long it takes with cardio exercise to lose weight, but its to your advantage to increase your muscle mass.
The actual amount of time it would take you to burn calories depends on how much you weigh, your chosen activity and the intensity of exercise. You don’t need to exercise daily. Aim for 5 minutes per day. Consistency is necessary if you are really serious about losing weight. Gradually increases your intensity as you get more physically fit.
Fighting bone loss is another great reason to start lifting weights. Early in the bone loss process, you may not see any signs, but eventually it can lead to stress franctures, loss of height and certain types of back pain.
It is important to have the right strength training program that includes all of the major muscle groups. For the upper body this includes pushups , pull-ups, crunches or sit- ups. For the lower body, squats or lunges. And don’t forget the abdominal and lower back muscles which can improve posture, help relieve lower back pain and assist in everyday movements. For best results join a pilates class at least weekly
Be patient with yourself. You won’t achieve significant gains in the short-term. Exercise needs to be a part of your lifestyle, not just a short-term activity for a limited period of time. You are never too old to start exercising.