Do you want to stay younger looking, longer? Forget the Botox pick up some weights!

With today’s pressure on people to stay younger looking, longer, we need to start asking ourselves what exactly does looking young mean to us?
I love to scan magazines and keep an eye on fashion & society’s acceptance,or shall I say approval, of a youthful look.   What I hate are the “procedures” that some people endure to keep up their appearances, many in the end just look ridiculous.

It was so refreshing to read an article written by Paula Goodyer about looking young.  It has to do with a strong body to carry us through our later years of life.  I have to agree, if you look young from shoulders up but no longer have a strong body to carry you…then you just look old.  So stand straight, shoulders back and off you go…with a smile for bonus “youth” points.

Anti-ageing – get with the strength

Skin treatments like Botox and retinol might be high profile anti-agers, but they don’t tackle the pointy end of ageing that’s tucked away in nursing homes – the muscle wasting that leads to Zimmer frames and loss of independence. It’s not just the wrinkling of the outer skin that makes a 60 or 70 year old body look older than that of a 30-something. It’s also what’s happening to the stuffing inside – when muscles start shrinking, bodies sag and posture droops. This doesn’t just affect how a body looks, but how it functions – ever-weakening muscles make it harder to get up the stairs or out of your chair.
That’s the bad news. The good news is there’s an antidote – strength training. It was great to hear Professor Hal Kendig, head of the ageing, work and health unit at the University of Sydney, spruiking strength training in the Sydney Morning Herald last week when he said that if older women want to stay out of nursing homes, they should lift weights. He’s right. But wouldn’t it be better still if women got the strength message earlier, say, in their 40s when creeping muscle loss begins? It’s not like men don’t need this message too – they do. But women need it more because they generally have less muscle to begin with and get frailer faster than men. Women also put less value on strength. If you were to guess which physical feature would be high on most women’s wish lists, you can bet strong muscles wouldn’t be up there. All our lives we learn we need good hair, good skin, good boobs and good legs, but strength? Not really our department.
Yet muscle is a real asset and building it has anti-ageing benefits for women, in how they look and how they function. Let’s count the ways.
Regular strength training helps your body look younger. It fights the sagging, ageing effect of dwindling muscle and gravity, and makes it easier to stay at a healthy weight. Cardio exercise is important too for both general health and weight management, but it can’t boost muscle in the same way as strength training so you need a combination of both. And it’s a myth that working out with weights makes women bulky – women don’t produce enough of the male hormone testosterone to grow muscles like a man.
Strong muscles make you less accident prone. We hear a lot about preventing osteoporosis, but hands up who’s heard of sarcopenia? It’s the medical term for loss of muscle and preventing it is as important as preserving bone. After all, it’s the unsteadiness caused by dwindling muscle strength that leads to falls – that lead to fractures.
Regular strength training helps prevent diabetes. To get the link between muscle and diabetes, it helps to know that muscles soak up blood sugar to use as fuel, The more muscle you have, the more blood sugar they take up and the lower the risk of high blood sugar levels that lead to diabetes.
Stronger muscles give you more energy. How’s this for sad news? A study of 34 to 58-year old women by the University of Michigan found that those who’d lost around 2.5 kilos of lean muscle walked more slowly and had less strength in their leg muscles. These women were hardly ancient, yet muscle loss was already eroding their strength.
For good info on strength training, its benefits and where to start, go to, the website established by strength guru Dr. Miriam Nelson, Director of the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.
Has working out with weights made a difference to you?

This article was sourced from


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