The older we get, the more muscle we lose. As if losing strength is not bad enough, we have to worry about gaining weight, too. Did you know that up to 80% of Americans in their 50s and older have too little muscle and too much fat?
These problems can cause serious health issues like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and more.
The good news is, muscle loss can be reversed. This is especially important for senior adults, who will suffer from its consequences if they don’t exercise. If you want your aging loved ones to maintain their independence in their twilight years, it’s best to encourage them to exercise.
Strength training has been proven to be the most effective exercise to help older adults fight muscle loss. When coupled with aerobic exercises, it can help prevent a lot of functional declines brought about by aging.
Why is strength training so important, and what does it have to offer? Let’s learn more about a few of its benefits.
Rebuilds muscle and increases bone density
Increasing muscle mass through strength training exercises can help senior adults regain their strength. It’s the best exercise to help them rebuild their muscle tissue and enjoy gains that prevent muscle loss.
In line with this, strength training also helps senior adults increase bone density. Bones become more fragile and might cause injury in old age. Weight training exercises can help prevent bone breakage and reduce the risk of osteoporosis in senior adults.
Even brief programs of strength training exercises at least twice a week can help seniors regain their muscles and strength. As long as you make sure that your senior loved one is taking it easy and choosing appropriate weights, they should be doing good.
Reduces fat and resting blood pressure
Lack of exercise in old age will lead to more fat, despite eating habits remaining the same. Strength training exercises can help senior adults lose fat weight, despite increased caloric intake. At the same time, it also helps in increasing muscle weight.
Did you know that around 1/3 of adults have high blood pressure? Increased blood pressure or hypertension increases a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Strength training can help lower resting blood pressure – studies have shown that just two months of circuit training can significantly reduce a senior adult’s blood pressure.
Improves strength and flexibility
As we age, we become more frail. Strength training can slow it down. With enough resistance exercises, a senior adult can enjoy improved fitness and stronger physical abilities. Through strength training, they can also have the power to start doing other activities, like cycling.
Enjoying improved functional strength also reduces fall and injury risks among the elderly. This will allow them to become more independent and require less assistance for longer. Helping senior adults maintain their strength through their twilight years is important to allow them to remain independent.
Enhances mood and well-being
Everyone knows about the mental and psychological benefits of exercises. Senior adults need it more than others, especially when they start fighting feelings of despair and loneliness in their aging years. Exercise releases serotonin, which is considered the “feel-good hormone,” allowing them to have better moods.
Strength training exercises also help them become more positive and relaxed. It also allows them to fight fatigue and depression. By helping your senior loved ones become more calm and revitalized, you’re giving them more opportunities to enjoy life, even in old age. And it all begins with a good strength training program.