When you think about staying active as a senior, you may think of things like daily walks and low-impact aerobics. But did you know about the benefits of strength training for seniors? It may seem strange to start lifting weights in your golden years, but there’s actually no better time in your life to make it a part of your fitness routine!
What Is Strength Training?
Strength training refers to exercises that rely on muscle resistance to build your strength and endurance. It can include weightlifting, calisthenics, or a variety of other movements. While we all know that physical activity is a key part of living a long and healthy life, many of us don’t realize that the benefits of strength training for seniors are significant and unique.
Benefits of Strength Training for Seniors
Reduce Effects of Bone and Muscle Loss
Most people are aware of the threat that osteoporosis can pose to your bones as you age by reducing your bone density and leaving you more prone to injury. Less people are aware of sarcopenia, a similar issue that causes you to lose muscle strength and density. Both conditions are a natural part of aging, and combined, they can add up to a loss of coordination and a higher risk of injury following falls or other accidents.
Strength training combats both issues by helping your body build lean muscle mass and improve bone density. Studies show that regular strength training combined with a healthy diet can stop or even reverse the effects of these conditions.
Stay Mobile and Independent
Strength training is also a great tool to improve the quality of your day-to-day life. Issues like walking difficulties and joint pain can deprive seniors of independence and the ability to participate in the activities they love. Strength training can help by building up your day-to-day endurance and stamina. Stronger muscles and denser bones will improve your balance, help you avoid injuries, and give you more energy with which to enjoy life. Strength training is also an effective treatment for specific ailments, such as osteoarthritis, where building up muscles and increasing flexibility can improve function and keep joints limber and mobile. Furthermore, strength training can help combat common senior ailments such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Studies show that for adults between the age of 50 and 75, regular strength training significantly improves mobility and overall ability to enjoy daily life.
Improve Memory and Mood
If all that was not enough, one of the biggest benefits of strength training for seniors is mental health. Regular exercise is good for your mind as well as your body, and strength training is no different. In addition to the general mood-boosting effects that exercise provides, strength training has been shown to improve recall and memory in older adults, as well as overall mental function. Strength training has even been linked to increases in self-esteem! And if you are looking for ways to be social, look no further than a new exercise routine. Participating in strength training classes or even just finding an exercise buddy is a tried-and-true way to help you connect with others, enjoy a fun activity together, and even make some new friends.
Getting Started with Strength Training
The idea of strength training for the first time can be intimidating, but don’t worry: all you need is your own body weight and enough space to move. When starting any new exercise routine, your first step should be a conversation with your doctor. Once you have the all-clear, you can find the strength training routine that works for you. On the internet, you can find many excellent resources for fun workouts geared towards seniors, or you can ask a fitness professional for advice and training. Prioritizing good form will help you avoid injuries and get the maximum benefit possible from your workouts.
Once you find a routine that works for you, stick to it and you’ll start to see the benefits of strength training for seniors in just a few weeks. Give it a try!
At Springhouse Village, we know how important it is to enjoy your retirement in a lively and welcoming environment. We make it easy for our residents to be active participants in our community. Whether that means encouraging residents to join an exercise class or assisting them in starting a garden club, we strive to help our residents thrive. To learn more about the amenities and services we offer, contact Springhouse Village today.