It still surprises everyone here at Framework Personal Training when others are surprised to hear that strength training isn’t just for the young. The truth is, folks in their golden years may have lower energy reserves and be a little more on the frail side, but most respond exceptionally well to resistance training. How well? Here are seven benefits of strength training for adults in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s.
The Benefits of Strength Training for Seniors
We’ve written before that it’s never too late to start working out, and it’s true. When you start exercising properly, you’ll increase not just muscle strength, but also muscle endurance, which is the ability to repeat a movement. Other benefits may include:
- Reduces and prevent osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones, making them so brittle that a fall or even simple stresses (leaning over to cough!) can lead to fractures and breaks.
- Reduces arthritis, a condition that affects joint cartilage and causes inflammation, leading to stiffness and joint pain.
- Improves balance by boosting muscle strength and tone.
- Reduces chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, by strengthening abdominal and strength muscles.
- Reduces the severity and symptoms of obesity.
- Helps control symptoms of type 2 diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels.
- Improves back pain by strengthening the lumbar and sacral regions.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends weight training for those over age 50, and studies have shown that people well into their 90s continue to benefit. And get this – a study of seniors between 65-70 revealed that after twelve weeks of strength training, they could walk close to 40% farther without rest than they could before adopting a workout program. That’s a big deal, because that kind of endurance is a measure of leg strength, and insufficient leg strength is a precursor to disabilities down the road.
So how should a senior citizen get started?
Get the okay from your doctor first, and then partner with a personal trainer who has experience training seniors. The experts here at Framework Personal Training in Reno can create a personalized strength training program that will help you reap the benefits of fitness without exposing you to risk of injury. Consultations are private and free, and we’re pleased to answer any questions you may have.