And suddenly you’re old:
About longboards, age discrimination, waving arms and the power of imagination
The other day, when I was strolling through Düsseldorf with my son and husband on a Saturday, the window of a skate shop caught my eye. The latest longboards were exhibited there in all imaginable colors and shapes. I was blown away. I actually wanted to start longboarding last year, but then all of a sudden it was autumn, and with it the leaves on the sidewalks, and nothing more came of longboarding. But this shop window was a sign of fate. So let’s get into business!
Determined I went with the men in tow to the exhibition wall with the longboards and looked at the artistically painted decks, when a young salesman approached from the left and bored the obligatory “can I help you?” Uttered little sayings, followed by the question: “Who should the board be for, for the little one?”
Still very euphoric by the idea of slipping smoothly and elegantly across the streets, I replied: “No, the board is for me.” The chubby facial features derailed the seller:
Is this longboard for you? Ohhhhhhh …
If you now think the Ohhhhhhh was an approving expression of surprised admiration, then you are wrong. Instead, please imagine a Ohhhhhhh where the voice at the end becomes drawn out and ominously lowered. Such a Ohhhhhhh with an unspoken disapproving “Oh God, the old woman doesn’t really want to longboard” accompanied by an annoyed raising of an eyebrow.
This time derailed me the facial features. So now the time had come: I had been declared old completely unprepared. My first very personal case of Age Discrimination! This chubby man in his late twenties, who probably hadn’t been born when I took my first skateboard rides in my youth, had me “old, so unsportsmanlike ”and made no secret of the fact that he thought it was a waste of time to advise me.
Stupid mistake. Very stupid mistake! Because already after the Ohhhhhhh it was clear to me that I would not buy a longboard here, from this blasé boy. A little pride is required! Other skate shops also have nice longboards.
But what has all this got to do with strength training ? Well, with Madonna-like arm muscles instead of waving arms, I would probably have impressed him more, or at least I could have grabbed his little sleeper and shook his hipster shirt a little (which of course I would never have done). But for now I only had my imagination and the resolution to add an important pillar to my Fit40up! program: Strength training !
7 good reasons why women should start weight training over the age of 50
1.) Strength training makes you self-confident
Those who manage to lift heavy weights on a regular basis will gradually become more confident in other areas of life. Self-confidence grows with the muscles! Not a stupid saying, but a fact!
2.) Weight training puts you in a good mood and reduces menopausal symptoms
Strength training helps against stress. With every kilo that you lift during strength training, the body releases happiness hormones (endorphins) and this in turn slows down the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Menopausal mood swings will find an outlet in strength training and by the way you will also get a good figure. Win-Win!
3.) Don’t be afraid of mountains of muscles
Many women are afraid of building too many muscles through muscle training and then appearing manly. But don’t worry, strength training doesn’t create huge mountains of muscles in women, but rather beautifully shaped and defined curves. Usually with the onset of menopause, the body loses muscle mass and accumulates more fat.
But fat doesn’t burn calories and hey presto – you gain weight. You will quickly see results through strength training because it builds muscles, which in turn burn fat. Waving arms become taut upper arms, thighs become slimmer and the stomach flatter. After just two weeks of strength training three times a week, I notice how my body is tightening and my pants are sitting better. And that although I didn’t lose any further weight after my hormone diet.
4.) Weight training protects against osteoporosis (bone loss)
About 30 percent of women are affected by osteoporosis during or after menopause (late 40s to mid-50s). The bone becomes brittle and causes pain. Even minor falls can lead to broken bones that heal poorly and posture deteriorates. This is where strength training helps, because the strain on the body leads to more bone density and muscle building stabilizes the musculoskeletal system.
5.) Strength training reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus
“Strength training is an important element in the fight against diabetes,” says Dr. Stephan Geisler from the German Sport University in Cologne.
Dumbbell training increases muscle mass and is therefore probably even more effective than endurance training, because the more muscle mass someone has, the more sugar they can metabolize. Before a diabetic starts strength training, he should definitely seek medical advice, because diabetics are risk patients.
6.) Strength training protects against pain and injuries
Well-trained muscles relieve stress on the joints and stabilize tendons and ligaments. Weight training also strengthens the core and back pain becomes less common.
Runners in particular should add strength training to endurance training in order to prevent injuries. Overall, strength training improves posture, you walk more upright and you don’t get smaller with age.
7.) From 50 onwards, endurance training is a useful addition to strength training – and not the other way around
Endurance training is important for the heart and circulation, it increases performance and it helps to save more calories. It should not be the main or sole component of fitness training during menopause, see reasons 1 to 6.
A combination of strength training, endurance training and flexibility training is better – the three pillars of my Life40up fitness program!
Important information before you start strength training
If you have not done any sport or weight training in a long time, you should consult a doctor beforehand. Please don’t just start strength training by buying a few bargains and powering off to a fitness video in your living room at home. Otherwise injuries caused by excessive weight or incorrect movements are inevitable.
After all, there is no one in the living room to correct their posture and make sure that you are doing the exercises correctly – in the gym there is.
A good fitness studio asks about your previous illnesses, carries out a body analysis, determines your current fitness level and designs a program tailored to you based on your goals. During training, good fitness trainers make sure that you do the exercises correctly and adjust your training plan every two months.
I haven’t been a gym fan for a long time and have since changed my mind because I’ve found my gym. It meets all of the aforementioned requirements – and more. But that’s another story.
I wish you a motivated entry into strength training – and don’t let others discourage you. After the third training session at the latest, you won’t want to be without the good feeling afterwards. I’ll pack my gym bag and go to the gym.