You know that exercise is important, but if you’re over age 60, your routine should absolutely involve strength training at least twice every week. Yes, that’s true even if you walk every day and even if you’ve never lifted weights. The certified personal trainers here at Framework Personal Training in Reno are outlining four benefits of strength training if you’re over 60, plus the best way of getting started.
More Muscle Mass Increases Longevity
Beginning around age 30, adults who aren’t prioritizing strength training begin losing muscle mass—somewhere between 3 and 5% per decade. Over a lifetime, that’s generally 30% of a person’s muscle mass. Turns out, the more muscle mass you have, the better your chances of a longer life. According to research, the risk of death from any cause increases tremendously among adults age 65 and up with little muscle mass in their legs and arms. Women with weak muscles are especially at risk—they’re 63% more likely to pass away, while men with poor muscle mass are 11.4 times more likely.
Adults over 65 who lift weights twice per week, however, have a 46% lower mortality rate compared to those who don’t strength train. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Strength Training Reduces The Risk of Heart Conditions
There’s an undeniable cardiovascular component when you lift weights. One study of over 13,000 adults found that even less than one hour of weight lifting per week can significantly improve your cardiovascular and heart health. To put it in perspective, you could spend 20 minutes lifting weights twice per week to enjoy a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke by 40 to 70%. You’ll also reduce your risk of high cholesterol. Don’t assume that you need to spend hours in the gym to benefit. Building muscle is important for burning calories and supporting joint and bone health, but it has impressive metabolic benefits that are often overlooked.
Strength Training Means Stronger Bones
As we age, our bones become weaker and more brittle. That puts us at risk of falls and fractures. But resistance training strengthens our bones in addition to our muscles. One study looked specifically at over 100 women aged 65 and above with low bone mass. Two 30-minute weight-lifting sessions per week was enough to improve bone density and bone structure, as well as functional performance. Not a single participant experienced injuries or adverse side effects either, a sign that it’s never to late to start!
Strength Training Lowers the Risk of Chronic Disease
The older we get, the more vulnerable we are to a range of chronic diseases, from cancer and heart disease to type 2 diabetes. Strength training, however, dramatically reduces the risk of all of these age-related diseases. Improving muscle mass, function and strength is directly related to the prevention of chronic disease. That’s one of the reasons the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends all adults lift weights at least two times per week.
For many people, the hardest part is getting started. That’s where a person trainer can make all the difference. They have the training and expertise to create a strength training plan that will help you reap all the benefits of strength training while also ensuring you’re performing every exercise correctly to minimize the risk of injury. The trainers here at Framework specialize in senior fitness, and they’re ready and excited to begin. Contact our team today, and start enjoying the many benefits of strength training!