If you’re thinking of starting a weight training regimen or adding a weight lifting component to your current exercise routine, does it matter how old you are? Will your age have an influence on your results? And is it safe to begin lifting weights if you’re concerned you might be too old or too young?
The answer to all of these questions can be complex, and can be influenced by several factors including your general health, how much weight you intend to lift, and how often and intently you plan to work out. If you have any concerns at all, it’s best to consult a doctor or a personal trainer before throwing yourself into a new exercise routine of any kind. In addition, here are a few considerations to bear in mind.
1. I’m sixty-five. Am I too old to lift weights?
If your doctor has given approval, then by all means, add weight training to your routine. At any age, exercise provides muscle strength, increases concentration and focus, and enhances overall feelings of well-being. But you’ll want to make sure that you don’t lift, rotate or extend beyond a comfortable range of motion. Your body may not be able to recover as quickly as it once did from the minor tears or strains that come from twisting and hyperextending, and even small injuries might take a long time to heal and could interfere with your motivation. Start slow, breathe evenly, and enjoy yourself.
2. I’m a teenager. Can weightlifting stunt my growth?
In moderation, probably not. But the definition of moderation may not be clear, and teenagers sometimes push their bodies too far in pursuit of fast results. Discuss your intended routine with a coach or trainer before you begin. An expert can give you advice and set you on a sustainable path to progress.