We hate to sound like a broken record, but it really is crucial to incorporate lifting weights into your workout regimen. In fact, when it comes to exercise for older adults, strength training actually trumps cardio because preserving muscle is more important than losing fat as you age.
"Every decade, starting in your mid 30s, you lose a percentage of muscle, which affects your metabolism, balance, and ability to brace yourself in the event of an injury," explains Larysa DiDio, a certified personal trainer and Prevention's contributing fitness editor. "By weight training, you build more muscle to protect your body against injury."
Ideally, twice a week—whether you lift free weights, use machines, or do bodyweight exercises, says Rachelle Reed, PhD, CPT, Pure Barre's manager of training development and barre kinesiologist.
That said, as you get stronger and fitter, both Reed and DiDio agree that you should bump up your sessions to more than two times a week. "You can totally lift every day—just make sure to work on different body parts or train your body differently each day," DiDio says.