People often assume that strength training should be left to people in their 20s and 30s. But the truth is people of all ages can benefit from working their muscles and building their strength, including seniors! Whether you’re suffering from age-related muscle loss, trying to maintain your health and independence as you get older, or just looking for an overall healthier lifestyle, there are many good reasons why seniors should be strength training! And this article is here to convince you why you should try it!
- 1 The Basics Of Strength Training
- 2 Reasons Seniors Should Be Strength Training
- 3 Prevent Muscle Loss
- 4 Build Bone Density
- 5 Enhance Coordination
- 6 Improve Mental Health
- 7 Boost Metabolism
- 8 Combat Preventable Diseases
- 9 Limit Physical Injuries
- 10 Consider All The Reasons Seniors Should Be Strength Training!
The Basics Of Strength Training
Strength training is a worthwhile pursuit for anyone looking to enhance their overall physical fitness. Strength training is about improving physical performance by testing and pushing your body’s limits to increase muscle strength and endurance over time. It involves not only lifting weights but also bodyweight exercises like calisthenics, as well as using the momentum of weighted objects or even the thrust of your muscles against resistance bands.
While there are many forms of strength training available to the novice exerciser, it’s essential to consider what you intend to achieve from such a program and ensure that it fits within your current lifestyle parameters before beginning or investing in costly equipment. However, with thoughtful planning and proper form, strength training can be an extremely valuable part of your life and maybe the missing link in achieving total physical health.
Reasons Seniors Should Be Strength Training
While it may not seem like it, there are many reasons why maintaining muscle and building strength is something you should continue doing throughout your life. For those over 55, strength training can be particularly important. Consider the following:
Prevent Muscle Loss
Strength training is invaluable for seniors to remain strong and active as they age. As you age, your muscles naturally lose mass and strength due to decreased physical activity and other health factors, including medications. But incorporating a routine of strength-focused exercises can help seniors combat the muscle loss associated with aging, allowing them to stay healthy and independent well into their later years.
Muscle loss can be slowed or even reversed depending on the specific exercise or routine, potentially preventing long-term health complications.
Build Bone Density
As you work up a sweat, your bones are constantly stressed, which causes them to strengthen. Like your muscles, your bones lose density over time, a condition known as osteoporosis. And while this can be combated with proper nutrition and annual checkups, strength training is another great way to build bone density and strengthen your entire skeletal system.
With increased weight, the stress on your bones becomes even more intense, allowing you to build bone density much faster than with regular exercise alone, which can be huge for seniors in particular, as bone loss is one of the biggest contributors to many age-related health conditions.
Strength training can also be an excellent tool for seniors to enhance their coordination. Muscular strength and balance loss become more prominent as people age, and coordination can be compromised. Strength training helps strengthen muscles, tendons, and ligaments to improve balance.
At the same time, working out with weights and resistance bands can help improve your hand-eye coordination, which is particularly helpful for seniors who may be taking medications that affect their coordination or who might suffer from dementia and other similar degenerative diseases.
Improve Mental Health
Mental health can be a bit more complicated as you get older, particularly as certain medications and chronic health issues come into play. But strength training has also been proven to positively impact mental health, helping to reduce feelings of depression and improve mood overall. Not only does working out help you feel more empowered over your life choices, but it also releases endorphins that can affect both your body and mind.
As you continue to build strength and muscle mass, your confidence levels will increase, allowing you to take control of your life and set goals that will help keep you motivated and happy for years to come. And the best part is you can immediately see the mental health benefits!
Odds are you have noticed a little extra weight as you have gotten older; it happens to most people. Strength training can help to dramatically increase your metabolism and burn calories more efficiently, helping you lose weight and keep it off for good. This is particularly beneficial for seniors who may be at a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese due to the natural course of aging.
And if you are already struggling with weight issues, strength training can help you bring your weight back down to a healthy range and help you maintain it. Then as your muscles become stronger and more defined, you will naturally want to eat better to continue seeing results, creating a virtuous cycle of healthy habits.
Combat Preventable Diseases
These conditions include heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more. These can cause severe complications as you age, from muscle and joint pain to heart attack and stroke. While not every condition is preventable, maintaining a regular strength training routine has been shown to help improve symptoms and possibly even reverse the progression of many chronic diseases.
So if you want to avoid these conditions and many others, it’s essential to include at least some form of exercise in your daily routine. And strength training has been proven to be one of the most effective forms for its health benefits, safety, and flexibility.
Limit Physical Injuries
Finally, strength training is an excellent tool for seniors to reduce the likelihood of injuries. It can help seniors to rebuild muscle that may have been lost over time while also promoting healthy mobility by challenging their muscles with specialized exercises such as resistance bands, weight machines, and free weights. Seniors can build strength in targeted areas of the body, enabling them to complete daily activities more easily and reducing their chances of straining a weak muscle or joint.
Along with building overall strength, some strength training exercises can improve balance to help protect against falls and other accidents. As a result, certain strength training activities can assist seniors in staying active, limiting physical injuries, and maintaining their independence!
Consider All The Reasons Seniors Should Be Strength Training!
There are many reasons seniors should consider strength training as part of their regular exercise routine. Not only can it improve mental health, metabolism, and preventable diseases, but it can also help to limit physical injuries, improve overall mobility and bring a wealth of other benefits. Whether you are looking to boost your confidence or simply live a healthier and more active life, strength training can be an effective tool to achieve these goals. So why wait? Start incorporating some strength training exercises into your routine today and discover the many benefits for yourself!