As we get older, different aspects of our health start to naturally deteriorate. This not just makes us look older, but additionally to feel more tired and fewer like ourselves. Among those things is sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss.

Muscle loss happens because of the changing hormones in older age, and it has a tendency to affect women a lot more than men – especially after menopause. Losing muscle tissue as you age could make your skin look more saggy, also it can cause other issues like decreased strength and for that reason, a decreased capability to perform basic, every-day tasks. Luckily, research shows that training with weights can help stop it in its tracks.

Using weights or resistance bands to construct muscle can powerfully counteract the effects of aging. “Weight training helps rebuild and regenerate muscle tissue, reducing the decline in muscle tissue that typically occurs with age,” explains women's fitness instructor Cassandra Forsythe, PhD, author of The New Rules of Lifting for Women (Buy on Amazon, $19).

That's key because declining muscle mass contributes to slower metabolism, putting on weight, and low energy. In one Canadian study, researchers discovered that ladies who exercised with weights experienced a 36 percent improvement in strength, plus reversed the age of the cellular energy centers in muscle tissues by 4 decades. And also the benefits don't stop using the muscles: “Weight training also improves bone density,” adds Forsythe, noting that this helps lower the chance of falls and fractures.

Ready to get started? Based on Forsythe, you don’t need to lift super heavy weights to experience the benefits. You can start off using weights as little as two pounds and work your way as you receive stronger.

There are also plenty of other available choices when it comes to workout equipment to select from. Ankle weights can be strapped around ankles for exercises like donkey kicks and leg lifts. Resistance bands are ideal for exercises like squats, lunges, and arm workouts like tricep extensions and bicep curls. For some of our favorite exercise equipment to incorporate in your home workout, read this article!

And if you’re looking for a good work out routine that includes weight training, we’ve got you covered on that, too. We partnered with fitness guru Denise Austin to bring you a simple sequence that you can do daily to firm up your back and core. Have a go at her routine, found here!