First and foremost, what is resistance training for the 40 to 70 age group? Clearly, we are no longer talking about lifting 30kg dumbbells or exercising to become a body builder. Strength training in this context is just about any challenging weight-lifting exercise – even if it involves little more than raising your legs with ankle weights attached! Therefore, do not even try to repeat the kind of exercises that you did when you were 20 as you will likely hurt yourself; instead, don’t try to push your limits just yet and try working with weights that you know you can handle.
Why is strength exercise important for healthy ageing? The first reason is that it helps reduce the rate at which you lose your muscle mass. Loss of muscle is a sad but inevitable side effect of older age and passive lifestyle – but you can reverse it (or at least slow it down) with a lot of strength exercise. With enough muscle mass, you will be able to avoid or reduce the effect of creaky joints, which seem to get to all of us as we age.