BY NADIA POPOVA

Aside from muscular strength, lifting lighter loads with higher reps can improve one’s muscular endurance or having the ability to perform resisted or weighted movements over an extended period of time without getting tired.

More calorie burn plus the “after-burn” effect

Using lighter weights can give you more opportunity to do multiple moves, using your whole body in a full range of motion.  This makes you burn more calories because you can do more repetitions, with more effort from the lower body, core and the upper body that can increase your heart rate, resulting in a higher calorie burn. Using a pair of two to three-pound of dumbbells while doing moderate to high repetitions of controlled punches, squats and kicks can surely make you burn and sweat more.

You can also safely do more functional movements (bending, pulling, pushing, rotating and walking) that involves more than one muscle group per move. Functional training strengthens your body to do daily activities like playing your sports, doing household chores (moving your furniture and cleaning your house) climbing up and down the stairs and getting in out of the chair safely and effectively. For example, a squat with biceps curl and shoulder press can mimic a movement of grabbing and lifting a weighted object from the ground

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By lifting weights you have simpler and a more sustainable approach to healthy living

In the end, the most important thing that you need to consider right now is how to sustain your motivation to be active and make your exercise habits consistent.  Focus on exercises that you can enjoy and sustain long-term. Explore workouts that you will always look forward to and that can give you right type and amount of challenge. Incorporate a well-balanced and doable exercise program in your weekly routine like bodyweight training, lifting light to moderate weights/using various exercise props. Choose physical activities that you can really enjoy, either alone or with your friends and family. Older people should focus on simple resistance exercise programs that they can do on most days of the week like Pilates or yoga-based strength exercises that are also focused on balance, body awareness and flexibility.

From one of our clients:

After 1.5 years, I can say that lifting light to moderate weights repetitively for an hour of exercise session definitely improved my strength, muscular endurance, and muscle definition. I had a harder time getting more muscle definition pre-pandemic when I used heavier weights in the gym.

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