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Whether you're in your early 20s or your late 80s, following a regular weightlifting schedule can be beneficial to your overall wellbeing. In your younger years, a vigorous strength training workout can promote lifelong health, while older adults can maintain muscle strength and integrity by keeping up with a gentle weightlifting regimen. Although your exercise routine may change as you age, regular strength training through the years can help you to live a longer, healthier and happier life.

Why Should I Be Following a Weightlifting Regimen?

If you aren't already following a regular strength training routine, it's never too late to start. Lifting weights each week offers a number of physiological and psychological benefits at every age, helping you to:

• Lose weight and tone your muscles

Lower levels of LDL, the "bad" cholesterol, while increasing levels of HDL, or the "good" cholesterol

• Promote healthy bone development

• Enhance cardiovascular health and reduce your blood pressure

• Boost cognitive functioning

• Improve your flexibility and mobility

• Look better and feel more confident

• Improve your mood and decrease anxiety

Keeping your muscles toned and your cardiovascular system healthy can also help to prevent several chronic conditions that commonly affect America's senior population. Regular strength or resistance training can help you to reduce your risk of developing type II diabetes or manage the symptoms if you have already been diagnosed. Regular weightlifting exercises can also lower the incidence of osteoporosis and ease pain associated with arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Is Weightlifting Better Than Cardio?

While both strength training and cardio are vital to a well-rounded exercise routine, there's been a general shift towards weightlifting in recent years. Why is it, you may ask, that people are including more strength training in their exercise routine?

Lifting weights helps you to burn more calories than a simple cardio workout, and you'll continue to feel the effects for longer. Weight training boosts your metabolism, even after you finish your workout. As you age your resting metabolic rate begins to slow, and incorporating strength training into your exercise routine can help to reverse this process.

Strength training is also the best form of exercise to slow or reverse age-related declines in muscle mass, bone density, and strength. Regular resistance training has been shown to be more effective than aerobic exercise at strengthening bones and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

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