Life for life

Strength training with weights—or body weight—will help you age well

If you want to age well, pick up some dumbbells. Strong muscles help with functional movement like walking up the stairs, carrying groceries and lugging luggage, according to Berkeley Wellness, a collaboration of UC Berkeley School of Public Health and a team of national writers. If your muscles are weak, you’ll also be at greater risk of losing balance—falls are a leading cause of injury among the elderly—and weight-bearing exercises promote stronger bones. So, even if you’re still young, get in the habit of training your body’s major muscle groups—both upper and lower—at least two or three times a week. You’ll thank yourself later. If you don’t have a gym membership or a set of weights at home, focus on body-weight exercise such as push-ups, chin-ups, air squats and planks.