Benefits of Strength Training in Middle Age. Hutton Health

Benefits of Strength Training in Middle Age

10th April 2023

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  1. Exercise and the aging body
  2. Cardiovascular exercise
  3. Why is it important to incorporate strength training as we age?
  4. Benefits of strength training
  5. Best equipment for working out at home

Exercise and the aging body

As we age, body fat increases and lean muscle mass decreases which leads to a lower metabolism, a decrease in strength and a softer appearance (even if you are at a healthy weight). To counter this, an exercise programme for mid-age should include cardio, strength, stretching and rest.

A well-balanced exercise programme can strengthen bones, improve balance, improve functional movement, improve muscle tone, and increase insulin sensitivity.

Exercise and the aging body

Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise helps to keep your heart and lungs strong and is effective at burning fat while strength training exercises help retain and increase lean muscle tissue. 

Moving our bodies regularly helps maintain our bone mass. We have a decreased risk of osteoporosis as osteoblasts, the bone building cells, get stimulated when we engage in exercises that put stress on our bones such as walking or jogging.



As you get older your muscles become less flexible and your joint mobility decreases. Stretching helps to counter this by moving joints through their full range of movement.

Cardiovascular Exercise

Why is it important to incorporate strength training as we age?

Many people focus solely on cardiovascular activities, such as running or cycling, enticed by the calorie burning nature of the exercise. There are a number of benefits of incorporating strength training into your programme as you age.

It is important that we focus on our muscular strength as we get older because as we age, hormonal changes result in muscular atrophy (a decrease in muscle mass). This loss of muscle is one of the main causes of age-related weight gain.

Muscle is important for our metabolism and for functional movements used in daily living, such as bending, lifting and standing. Our muscles also play an important role in supporting our joints.


Core Work

Exercises that target your core are important as we age. Your core, the centre of your body, supports your entire body in everything you do.

Why is it important to incorporate strength training as we age?

Benefits of strength training

Benefits of Strength Training:

  1. Decreases abdominal fat

Fat that is around your abdomen (visceral fat) is associated with an increased risk in a number of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and heart disease. Strength training helps to combat your overall fat and visceral fat.


  1. Improves heart health

Strength training improves your heart functioning. Blood flow increases both during exercise as well as when you are recovering after. There are a number of ways that strength training improves heart health, a main one being the reduction in visceral fat and the reduction of fatty substance around your heart and arteries from increasing strength and fitness.


  1. Increases bone strength

Strength training is beneficial in bone development and strength. Temporary stress is put on your bones through weight bearing exercises. The stress sends a message to cells in your body whose role is to rebuild stronger bones.

Bone building benefits of strength training can be experienced at any age. Increased bone strength can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, fractures and falls. This is particularly important as you age.


  1. Increases flexibility and mobility

Strength training helps joints stay flexible and can reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Range of motion can be improved by strength training which can result in increased flexibility and mobility.

To experience the greatest benefit to your flexibility, try to use the full range of motion during strength training movements, such as squatting as low as possible on each repetition.


  1. Weight control

As you gain muscle, your body begins to burn calories more easily, making it easier to control your weight.

One of the most well-known health benefits of strength training is that it increases the body’s metabolic rate which, in turn, can help protect from obesity and from all the health conditions that accompany it. 


  1. Helps to manage blood sugar levels

Insulin sensitivity can be increased when skeletal muscle is improved. Blood sugar levels can be reduced by removing glucose from the blood and sending it to the cells of muscles.

Because of this, having a greater muscle mass can help manage blood sugar levels which can help reduce your risk of developing diabetes and can help manage it for those who have it.


  1. Increases self esteem

There is a strong link between strength training and body image. When you think more positively about your body, your confidence in all areas of your life will improve.


  1. Boosts mood

Exercise releases ‘feel good’ hormones and endorphins which help you feel positive and happy which boost your mood for hours after a workout.


  1. Improves posture

Muscle fatigue and imbalances can lead to poor posture. Strength training can help our muscles function optimally which can improve posture.

How often should I strength train?

It is recommended that strength training exercises are included in your programme at least 2 times each week. Strengthening exercises that target your main muscle groups (legs, back, core and arms) should be trained regularly to get the most benefit.

Best equipment to workout at home

Best equipment to workout at home

You don't need to go to a commercial gym or group fitness space to workout. With a few pieces of equipment you can effectively include strength training in your exercise program at home. 

1. Dumbbells

There are an endless number of strength training exercises that can be done with dumbbells.

Dumbbells are great for focusing on a specific muscle and they allow both sides to work independently of the other, ensuring both sides work without the stronger one compensating for the weaker side.

You don’t need to have a huge selection of weight to get a good workout at home with dumbbells. Often a couple of weights (such as a set of 3kg and a set of 5kg) will allow you to effectively do most exercises at home.

Decathlon has a good selection of dumbbells available at a reasonable price.

Best home gym equipment: dumbbells

2. Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are cheap to purchase and can be used for a variety of workouts at home. They are good for targeting muscles and can be used around various body parts for a full body workout.

Resistance bands come with a variety of resistance levels that can be changed as your fitness level increases.

Best at home exercise equipment: Resistance Bands

3. Yoga Mat

A yoga mat or pad can be helpful regardless of the type of workout that you are doing; HIIT, yoga, core, stretching or strength.


Yoga mats can be used on any type of flooring to help you avoid slipping during your workout and to give padding to your body parts while you are exercising, making it  more comfortable.

Yoga mats are easily washed and are great at protecting your flooring if you are sweating while you workout at home.

Best at home exercise equipment: yoga mat

4. A motivating Playlist

Good music can help motivate you to exercise at a higher intensity and for a longer period of time. Music can help keep a pace or rhythm in your exercising as  you keep up with the beat of your favourite songs.

Build a playlist to suit your type of workout. Consider songs with a slower beat (60-75 beats per minute) for yoga or a relaxing stretch. A faster beat (160-180 beats per minute) can help keep you motivated and energised for a high intensity workout.

I love using my Aftershokz headphones when I work out. They are comfortable and stay in place when I move.


Best at home exercise equipment: a motivating playlist

Feeling unsure how to begin including strength training into your exercise program from  home can be a barrier to starting to exercise. Hutton Health offers structured programs and the support, accountability and motivation of an experienced coach at your fingertips.

Hutton Health

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