There are a myriad of benefits for seniors that come from regular strength training. Strength training includes lifting weights a few times a week to build muscles particularly in the arms and legs. There are a several studies that have found the benefits of strength training for seniors.
One of the most important things that strength training does for seniors is prevent falls through improving balance and strength. The risk of falling increases as adults grow older and balance becomes more challenging. Not only does the risk of falling increase, but the injuries that falling can cause become more detrimental.
Many seniors live in fear of falling. Strength training can improve balance and flexibility, making it more likely to avoid falls and easier to recover from a fall. The CDC cites a study that found women over 80 had a 40% reduction in falls when they participated in regular strength and balance training.
Relieving Arthritis Pain
According to ElderGym, 90% of Americans will experience symptoms of osteoarthritis by the time they are 40. These symptoms will tend to progress throughout an individual’s life. Osteoarthritis is caused by the deterioration of joint cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by inflammation in the fluid around the joints. Gentle strength training can relieve pain caused by both types of arthritis. Strength training exercised can improve your comfortable range of motion and prevent arthritis pain from intensifying. It may seem counterintuitive to exercise joints that hurt, but when practiced correctly strength training can help manage the pain.
Building Bone Mass
Osteoporosis, which is the loss of bone density that plagues many women as they age, can be reversed by strength training. While previously it was assumed that bone density could not be restored once lost, a study done at Tufts University found the women could actually increase their bone density through strength training exercises.
Strength training can also prevent weight gain. It builds muscle mass that replaces fat. It can also help seniors struggling with diabetes as it improves the body’s ability to process glucose.
Combined with aerobic activity such as walking, biking or an aerobic workout class, strength training can ward off many of the problems associated with aging.
In addition to the physical benefits, strength training and other exercises will improve your emotional and mental health as well. Movement can ward off depression, relieve stress, and pump oxygen to the brain which will help you feel great.
Easy to Start
While strength training may sound challenging, especially for a senior who has never done it before, it can be very simple. Small hand weights that can easily be stored in the home can be used to do strength training exercises a few days a week. You can even do strength training with a group of friends as a social activity or while enjoying your favorite TV show.
Help From Professionals
You should always talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise routine, to ensure that it will work well with your health needs. You may also want to consult a personal trainer or physical therapist to learn how to do exercises that will address your specific needs. Anyone can decide to dedicate a few minutes a few days a week to implementing these important strength training exercises.
Help On Site
Royal Gardens offers the opportunity to schedule appointments with physical therapists right on site. These physical therapists can help develop a strength training regimen that is just right for you. Start strength training today so that you can feel great for years to come!