Health Tip: How Does Strength Training Help Aging Adults?
Many older adults realize that aging involves an inevitable loss of strength and energy. This causes increased difficulty with day-to-day activities such as walking distances, climbing stairs or carrying groceries. The frailty and decreased energy we associate with aging is largely due to muscle loss.
One of the best ways to keep muscles healthy and strong is through strength training, sometimes known as weight lifting or resistance training. Done regularly, strength training builds bone and muscle density, improves balance, coordination and mobility. It also helps reduce your risk of falling and helps maintain independence in performing daily activities. Strength training can also reduce the signs and symptoms of many diseases and chronic conditions including arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, back pain and depression.
Although strength training aids in healthy aging, it’s important to be kind to your joints and realistic in your goals. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started:
- Use full range of motion —perform movements that are not painful but use your full body such as steps, lunges and walking
- Start with your own body weight —before you lift extra weight, you should be able to lift your own weight through exercises such as push-ups and squats
- Add weight using dumbbells or resistance bands—these help target the body’s largest muscle groups through functional movements
- Include range-of-motion exercises in your strength training plan that address balance and flexibility
- Give yourself extra rest days and breaks in between strength training sessions
For answers to all your aging questions, start with Tabitha. Contact a Senior Care Expert today.