Conventional wisdom has long held that running is better for heart health than weightlifting.

But a new study says that’s not so.

Scientists looked at health records of 4,000 people. They concluded that, while both forms of exercise lower the risk of heart disease, weightlifting has a great effect than running, walking or cycling, according to the British Telegraph. 

The study also supports earlier views that weightlifting is better for the circulatory system because the “oxygen expenditure” is more intense.

Any exercise is good, of course. And weightlifting (or resistance training) also has other health benefits for people over 50. For example, it helps improve functional independence. Here are some of those benefits, accumulated by RunRepeat, which reviews all kinds of athletic footwear.

  • Improved balance while still and while moving
  • Better neuromuscular functioning for control and balance
  • Protection from age-related declines in neuromuscular functioning
  • Improved flexibility and joint movement.
  • Improvement in front hip flexion
  • Better movement in step length, speed and balance
  • Less fear of falling

In day-to-day life, all this means that strength training helps us move easier and more gracefully. This improved strength shows up in daily functions like climbing stairs and getting out of chairs. All adults lose muscle mass as we get older – unless we train to minimize that loss.

“The science is clear,” RunRepeat says. “Weightlifting will help reduce tons of risk factors for falls, improve functional independence, functional capacity, and quality of life.”

In short, it’s a necessity for people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond. Come in and let us show you how easy and enjoyable it is to gain these functional benefits from resistance training.

Make the Right Investment in Your Health: Exercise for Fun, Function and Your Future

At 62, Jeff Lasater is dedicated to staying in shape.

He lifts weights three times a week, and he runs on the treadmill three times a week.

“I don’t want to live to be 80 if I’m not healthy,” says Jeff, who still enjoys his job in sales and was introduced to fitness a few years ago by his grown daughter and son-in-law. “They were worried about me having all that idle time at night. And I feel good. I enjoy it.”

Jeff knows that every workout is an investment in his health – the best kind of investment we can make.

A Quick Review: Exercise Slows Aging

Time and again, polls show that we value our health more than anything. Or, at least, we say we do. People over 50 say they want to maintain their independence as long as possible, to enjoy the life they want to live for as long as they can.

But we all know about the obesity epidemic in our culture. We know the vast majority of Americans and Canadians do not get enough movement of any kind.

Studies prove beyond a doubt that exercise slows the aging process. It makes us stronger and more flexible, and it gives us better endurance. It’s good for heart health, brain function, depression and social interaction.

So, while aging is inevitable, becoming frail and immobile is not.

A Broader View

The phrase “functional fitness” provides a great way of approaching exercise and diet for active adults.

“Functional fitness is the term we use to describe fitness as it relates to our body’s ability to function, performing the tasks we ask of it,” according to the Functional Aging Institute, an Indiana-based organization that advocates for healthy living for people over 50. “And it’s so much more than what we traditionally think of when it comes to fitness.” It’s to help enjoy all the things you like, for as long as possible.

The FAI offers a handy self-assessment that encourages users to rate their ability to do such everyday tasks as:

  • Climb a flight of stairs without using a handrail for support
  • Go on a brisk 20-minute walk while talking with a friend
  • Pick up and carry a 20-pound toddler for five minutes
  • Play your favorite sport as well as you did five years ago
  • Get a good night’s sleep regularly

That’s a Sound Investment

This approach makes sense for a lot of people who want to invest in their health, whether they’ve been active their whole lives or not. Functional fitness is all about living better, by your own definition.

It requires some guidance and diversity of movement and, to a degree, thought. If you just keep doing the same few motions over and over, you’re not making a diversified investment in your health.

Come in and talk to us about your goals for fitness. Maybe they’re about hobbies, health, family, travel or appearance.

Regardless, your health really is your most important investment. It’s never too late to start or to refocus your efforts.

Jeff Lasater says he wants to prolong his quality of life as long as possible. “I’ve watched people who aged gracefully,” he says. “And they all did some kind of exercise regularly.”

Greek Yogurt Parfait

This recipe makes a tasty breakfast or a high energy snack. Plain Greek yogurt is a fantastic filler that’s packed with protein and makes the perfect backdrop for ripe fruit and a sprinkle of crunchy, natural granola. To lighten this recipe up even more feel free to leave out the granola. Enjoy!

What you need

Serves 3

  • ¾ cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • A few drops of stevia
  • 2 cups sliced mixed plums, peaches, nectarines, and sprinkle of cinnamon
  • ¾ cup granola

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with the stevia.
  2. In another medium bowl, mix the sliced fruit with the cinnamon.
  3. In serving dishes, layer the yogurt, fruit, and granola.

Nutrition

One serving equals 146 calories, 16g fat, 34mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate, 7g fibre, and 15g protein