Those who lift weights correctly can build muscle mass, tone up, get stronger and enjoy greater range of motion. And again, for older adults, a good strength program can maintain muscle strength at a time when the body would otherwise naturally be growing weaker.
Of course, as with any exercise, strength training comes along with some risk of injury. To help avoid problems, McClary recommends maintaining proper form and, just as importantly, never putting more weight on the bar than you can handle.
If you’ve never lifted weights before, a personal trainer or exercise physiologist, such as those at Tidelands HealthPoint Center for Health and Fitness, can help get you started.
“If you look at the research on injury risk, you’re not at any greater risk while lifting weights than you are with other activities,” he says. “In fact, a lot of the research will point out the recreational running and recreational sports carry much higher injury risks than lifting weights.”