Lifting weights may seem like a younger person’s activity, but there are benefits to weight training at any age. In fact, building muscle becomes even more important as we move into later stages of life. But don’t take our word for it – just ask the American College of Sports Medicine, which recommends weight training for people over age 50. Studies show that people into their 90s can enjoy the benefits too. So if you’re wondering whether seniors should really lift weights, the answer is absolutely.
Benefits of Lifting Weights for Seniors
The University of Vermont conducted a study of seniors aged 65 to 79. After completing twelve weeks of weight training, the study participants were able to walk a distance almost 40% farther without resting. This level of endurance indicates sufficient length strength, which is a big deal for seniors. Insufficient leg strength can be an indication of impending disabilities. Greater walking ability and improved endurance aren’t the only benefits:
- Weight training also improves strength, balance and agility, which help prevent injury from falls.
- It can boost bone mass in the spine and hips, which is particularly important for those suffering with osteoporosis.
- Lifting weights can relieve the pain of arthritis and improve range of motion.
- It speeds up the metabolism and offers improved glucose control. One study of Hispanic men and women with diabetes showed improvements on par with taking medication after 16 weeks of strength training. Participants in the study also lost body fat and increased muscle strength – happy benefits!
- Lifting weights can help people sleep better and it may help alleviate depression.
First, it’s important to get your doctor’s approval. And then, you should consider finding a certified personal trainer who specializes in senior fitness. It’s important to learn how to exercise properly to minimize the risk of injury. Here at Framework Personal Training in Reno, our professional trainers can create strength training programs just for you. Let us answer all of your questions – schedule a consultation today.