Top 3 Reasons to Strength Train if You are Senior
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In addition to regular cardiovascular or aerobic exercise - my favorite walking , adding a good chunk of strength training to your routine is vital especially if you are 55+. In this blog article, we will dive into top 3 Reasons to continue functional exercises especially if you are a senior.
1. Minimize Muscle Loss:
The No. 1 reason that strength training is so key especially when you are fifty five plus is to help minimize or prevent slow building muscle loss that comes with aging. It will prevent or minimize muscle atrophy and provide better support for your joints.
Loss of muscle mass or muscle atrophy is a normal consequence of aging and that can only be slowed down or reversed by a regular amount of time put into a strength training routine. Challenging your muscles helps build back type 1 as well as 2 fibers that are now deficient as a result of aging.
2. Minimize Joint Aches and Pains:
Building your muscles through strength training will also help minimize arthritis and hence minimize joint aches and pains.
Having that muscle strength will provide support and stability to your joints that have been losing cushion and other collagen tissue due to degenerative changes. This will in turn help you avoid or minimize the need for steroid shots or epidural injections.
3. Minimize Falls & Improve Balance:
Last but not the least, functional strength training will help improve your balance and thereby minimize falls.The last thing any active senior needs is a fall that can lead to a number of adverse consequences thereby limiting their mobility.
Weakening of balance is a common consequence of aging and working on your functional strength will help you slow down this process.
In short, working on maintaining your muscle mass gives you the best chance to maintain your mobility & independence as a senior.
So now that you see the value of strength training, what type of routine is best for you? Well, it depends on your age, overall health and previous fitness level.
In general, starting slow especially if you have not performed any strength training exercises in a while is key. Slow build up of weights to gradually add challenge and making sure your form is maintained throughout the movement is important to prevent injuries.
Even simple body weight movements or exercises like squats, heel raises and lunges could be helpful. Use of Resistance bands and free weights or dumbbells helps challenge those muscles and build strength gradually.
Movements like sideways/lateral walking and backward walking helps as those directions are rarely worked on by most people and those muscles are easily weakened.
If you are a senior and are looking for help to develop this functional strength training routine that is right for you then you can apply or inquire about our senior wellness program here. It is specifically developed to help seniors minimize epidurals/injections and avoid unnecessary surgery and thereby maintain their mobility and independence.