There are a lot of myths about growing older, including the idea that frailty is inevitable. Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to maintain your strength and vigor as you get older. Most frailty cases are due to loss of muscle mass, and strength training is a great way to combat that. Let’s explore the many benefits of strength training for seniors.
Benefits of Strength Training for Seniors
Strength Training Builds Muscle Mass
Sure, normal aging may lead to some unpleasant physical changes like increased body fat, a slower metabolism, and decreased strength. Strength training is one of the best way to kick those changes to the curb. By the age of 70, inactivity leads the average adult to lose up to 25 percent of their muscle mass. Fortunately, strength training and weight lifting can help reverse this loss.
Strength Training Boosts Bone Strength
As we get older, trips and falls can turn into more than an inconvenience: They can be downright dangerous. This is because most older adults tend to lose bone density, making fractures and breaks much more likely. If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis, or chronic bone density loss, talk to your doctor about ways to maintain your bone density. But if you’re just feeling a bit brittle, exercise can help improve your bone density and reduce the risks of fractures and breaks.
Other Benefits of Strength Training for Seniors
Regular strength training can boost muscle mass, increase bone density, and combat general weakness that may plague older adults. But did you know that regular strength training can also help reduce the symptoms of chronic diseases like arthritis, heart disease, depression, and Type 2 diabetes? Strength training is one of the most important ways to stay healthy throughout your golden years.
How Often Should I Train?
Now that we’ve addressed the benefits of strength training for seniors, you might be wondering how often you should train. Don’t worry: You don’t need to pump iron seven days a week to reap the benefits. In reality, two days a week might do the trick. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults focus on strengthening their major muscle groups (arms, legs, and core) at least twice a week. When you think about it, that’s no more than an hour or two a week. If you’re already committed to strength training twice a week, talk to your doctor about potentially increasing your workout load.
Starting a Training Program
Strength training can seem intimidating to beginners. After all, no one wants to stroll unprepared into a weight room full of sweaty bodybuilders. Start by talking to your doctor about which kind of exercise program might be the best fit for you. One of the wonderful things about strength training is that anyone can do it – even individuals with arthritis, diabetes, or congestive heart failure. Once you get the go-ahead from your healthcare professional, check out an exercise guide specifically designed for seniors. Use the step-by-step plan to increase your fitness level over a reasonable amount of time.
So, what are the benefits of strength training for seniors? Between increased muscle mass and reduced chronic disease symptoms, the benefits speak for themselves. Plus, strength training is fast, easy, and safe with the guidance of your healthcare professional.
Are you looking for a premier assisted living and memory care community in the heart of downtown Greenville, South Carolina? Come visit us at Waterstone on Augusta. Our community is both relaxing and elegant, and we strive to enhance the quality of life of the seniors we serve through teamwork and unity. To learn more about our amenities and to view our lovely community, please schedule a tour online or call us today at 864-605-7236.