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Strength Training Can Take Years Off a Senior’s Physical Age
You’re an active older adult who after years of working at a job or raising a family is now enjoying a more relaxed lifestyle. But a relaxed lifestyle with lots of things to do. You want to be confident that you’ll get everything out of the Westminster Village lifestyle that you can. Being strong in mind and body can ensure that you will do just that.
Everyone begins to lose muscle mass in their 30’s. Some say that it’s as much as 5% every decade. Do the math! If you’re beginning to feel weak in the legs or arms, it’s because you’ve lost muscle mass over the years. And if you worked all those years in a sedentary job, you might have even lost more. Re-building the strength in your muscles can benefit you in many ways. And the best method to strengthen your body is through strength or resistance training.
Active older adults benefit from strength and resistance training
Strength or resistance training can improve the overall health of an active older adult. As you age, you are at a greater risk for falls and accidents because of weakness. When you improve your strength and flexibility, you lessen the chance of those falls.
Your hands may not have the same strength that they once had when opening jars or lifting heavy items. Strength training helps you to accomplish the routine daily tasks that you may have some trouble doing now.
In an online article on the United Healthcare website, the author explains that “according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strength training helps reduce the symptoms of many chronic diseases and conditions that commonly afflict older adults, including arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity, and back pain. Studies show that strength training may also help reduce depression and boost confidence and self-esteem.”
What does strength training look like for seniors?
Strength training is different from aerobic exercise. Both are good for seniors, but some believe that you should do strength training before you do aerobic exercise like walking, running, or moving in place.
Your first step might be working with a certified trainer; someone who can design a training program for you. Check out the personal training services through the Westminster Village wellness center. Your program should always start with a lengthy warm-up so that you won’t damage or strain muscles. Warm muscles work better.
Your training program might consist of resistance bands or lifting weights. You will probably access the weight machines at the center. Strength training can also be using your body as weights to do pushups, pull-ups, crunches, or leg squats. Most trainers recommend that you exercise 2-3 times a week. Some suggest that 25 minutes is sufficient for healthy results.
Before starting any new exercise program, you should check with your doctor to make sure that it will be a safe and successful endeavor for you. You want to make sure that it won’t negatively affect any existing conditions that you might have.
Experts say that you can actually add years to your physical age when you strengthen your muscles and build mass. That just means that you will have lots more time to enjoy your life and the opportunities that await.
-Elaine of the Westminster Village Blog Team