You’ll never catch me saying that losing weight and building muscle in your sixties is easy. In fact, it’s hard work. Women’s bodies are complex. As we age, we lose muscle, our bodies burn fewer calories and we’re more susceptible to injury. But even with all of that stacked against us, ladies, there’s no reason why we can’t age like fine wine.
It all really comes down to one thing – being dedicated. If you’re dedicated to putting in real work, you’re bound to see some real results.
Here are four ways to slim down and build muscle in your sixties:
Start Weight Training
There’s a common misconception that weight training is just for the younger set. This absolutely isn’t true. What’s more is that consistent weight training is one of the only types of exercises that will help women in their sixties build muscle.
You don’t have to start big. Instead, grab lighter weights and do a few reps of 8 – 12 exercises. Keep it simple — start bicep curls with two-pound weights. Do this consistently – three to four times a week – and after a month, you should notice increased strength in your arms. At this point, you can vary the exercises you’re doing, increase your reps, or even consider using heavier weights.
Account for Your Hard Work
After working out – especially if you’re incorporating weight training into your routine – it’s important that you fuel your body with enough protein to help with muscle growth and repair.
Eggs, lean beef, pork, chicken, beans, quinoa, lentils, oats, almonds, broccoli and milk are all great sources of protein that can easily be incorporated into your existing diet. High-quality protein is the best choice for us women who are in our sixties and beyond.
Know Your Vitamins
Your mom has been telling you this one from the moment you were old enough to tie your shoes– take your vitamins! This is extremely important when you’re trying to build up your muscle. It’s important to understand the benefits of vitamins, so that you’re taking the best natural supplements to support your progress.
Here are a few of my favorites: Vitamin D is a great partner to protein, as it plays a vital role in protein synthesis. Vitamin C helps with the recovery process, as it aids tissue growth and repair. Folic acid is known to help support enzymes in their work, helping your body benefit from protein consumption.
Stretch and Rest or Risk Losing Your Progress
Perhaps the most important part of the journey towards building muscle is to remember to stretch and rest along the way. As women in our sixties, our bodies are much more fragile than those who in their thirties, forties and even in their fifties. We have to know and understand that rest and recovery is just as important as exercise and diet.
Stretching is imperative. Be sure to stretch before and after exercising, as this can help prevent strain and injury. If you’re short on time, never skip your stretches. Instead, cut down on the actual time you’re working out so that you can still fit in your warm up and cool down.
Also be sure to schedule rest days as a part of your routine. Allow yourself to take rest days even if they’re not a part of your original plan – sometimes, we can unexpectedly tweak something or hurt ourselves, which certainly warrants some time off. Other days, we may be simply exhausted – and that’s okay. Listen to your body and treat it with the kindness and respect you deserve.
Do you have any tips on how to gain muscle when you’re in your sixties? Please share your thoughts and comments below.
Do you want to understand the way alcohol can impact your wellness journey? Then this post is for you: MYTHS AND REALITIES: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL.