Wait, I think...
For 12 years, from age 23 to 35, I lifted weights daily. Gym rat I was: bench pressing, dead lifting, squatting... yes, all of it. Eventually I purchased home equipment consisting of a bench, barbell, weight plates, and dumbbells.
At 35, I was bored and looking for change. I decided to start a Yoga asana practice. I had been doing Yoga Conscious Connection work (Mindfulness) for 9 years. It was time to add in the poses. Then, after a year of every other day weight lifting & every other day Yoga asana practice, I completely bagged the weight training. The bench and paraphernalia was hauled to the top of my street and left on State Rt. #56. Before I could return with trunk load 2, the bench and barbell were gone. The decision was final, no going back.
Here I am at 53 and contemplating doing the gym rat thing again. How I wish I still had that equipment. Home fitness routines are my best bet. The hassle of running to a gym doesn't excite me.
So why do I contemplate going back? Well, I am not getting younger and I can see the impacts of age creeping towards me: muscle strength and size diminishing, tone is sliding earth side... damn aging and gravity!
Heading back to the gym and doing some weight lifting / strength training will provide these benefits:
- Body composition that retain muscle mass and keeps fat stores in check
- Keep up muscle strength
- Prevention of estrogen dominance (see the body comp info above). When we age and go through the menopausal years, our bodies produce less & less progesterone because we no longer ovulate. Body fat tissue produces estrogen. Excess body fat contributes to estrogen dominance. Yeah, I don't want that.
- Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue. So I can eat more (100% body nourishing whole foods, of course!) without gaining weight as I age. Yeah, ok, I'll take that side benefit.
- My mentor, as I went through my Holistic Health Coaching Certification, was Michelle Smith of Forever Fit With Michelle. This gal is 10 years older than me and rocks the world of fitness, weight training, & body building competitions. Yup, she's a champion! Her anti-aging services include whole food education (sound familiar?) and weight training. If she can do what she does at 63, I can reach my lesser goals at 53. Nope, not looking to be a body building champ but I am wicked proud of my mentor Michelle!
- Bone strength is important to me. Weight training keeps bone mass building, maintains a healthier osteoclast vs. osteoblast functioning. Look that stuff up if you want to learn some fun bone biology / physiology.
I have been doing pull ups / pushups / reverse pushups (think back bend pushups / chin ups / Yoga squats & lunges. But I think I need more and I keep injuring my left shoulder, trapezius muscle, doing pull ups.
I will continue to do yoga, 5 days a week. My 2 days in the gym, pumping iron, will be simple and concise workouts. As a former fitness trainer, I have my plans already created. My weight training moves will be Yoga poetry in motion in the weight room:
- slow movements with conscious intention
- breath work
- inner steadiness & peace
Please make comments below on your favorite local gym & why:
- SUNY Potsdam,
- SUNY Canton,
- Clarkson, or
- one of the privately owned gyms in Potsdam.
I am not looking for fancy aerobic equipment, in fact I won't use any, as I prefer to be outside wandering the woods with my dog. I am a simplicity seeker: I am looking for the nuts and bolts for weight lifting to build strength. No frills.
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