Lifting weights offers a number of benefits, and that’s true even (and especially) for people over the age of 65. But the perks aren’t limited to a stronger physique – the mental advantages of consistent weight training are equally important. Here’s why seniors should lift weights.
It’s a medical fact that muscle tone begins to decline after about age 50. Left unchecked, this decline is what makes seniors vulnerable to poor balance and dangerous falls. Incidentally, falls, and the fractures that so often go along with them, are among the main causes of hospitalization for seniors. But strength training, or weight lifting, can help you maintain muscle tone and improve balance, minimizing your likelihood of falling due to frailty. What’s more, weight training is associated with:
- Helps develop stronger bones and reduces age-related muscle loss
- Improves mobility and endurance
- Improves range of motion
- Increases lung capacity
- Strengthens muscles
- Reduce pain associated with arthritis and joint pain
- Boosts metabolism
The American College of Sports Medicine specifically recommends weight training for all people over age 50, including those in their 90s. And it’s not just because of this laundry list of physical benefits.
Weight training, no matter how old you are, doesn’t just build strength. It can also boost motivation and confidence, offer a social outlet, and improve self-esteem. Older adults consistently sleep better, have improved focus, report higher levels of energy and happiness, and show reduced instances of degenerative diseases when they consistently life weights. But for someone contemplating picking up weights for the first time in their 50s or older, the intimidation factor can be derailing.
That’s where an experienced certified personal trainer comes in. A good trainer will be able to create a customized fitness plan that balances weight and endurance training while accommodating your current level of fitness and any limitations. You’ll learn proper technique and form to minimize any risk of injury, and you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you feel a difference.