Research is clear on the benefits of weight training and aging well. Not only does it help us gain muscle mass and strength, improve mobility, sharpen us mentally, and improve metabolic health, it can help shape our minds, too. An interesting study out of Finland found that a big percentage of older adults who have help getting started in the gym are far more likely to continue on their own. Here’s why.
From the Study
As part of a study into weight training and the elderly, researchers at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland invited 81 men and women between the ages of 65 and 75, who were already healthy and physically active, to begin lifting weights. It was a new form of exercise for them all. The program was a twice-weekly, full-body resistant training regimen designed to ensure participants understood proper technique and were building strength.
After three months, participants were divvied into groups that trained once, twice, or three times a week, with a separate control group that stopped lifting. Researchers periodically checked in to see how participants felt about training. After six months of supervised lifting, participants were officially on their own. Researchers told them that the university’s facilities were no longer available but offered information about local gyms that were both affordable and suitable.
A year after the formal study began, researchers contacted all of the volunteers again and found that close to half of the volunteers were still lifting weights at least weekly, all on their own. What’s more, there wasn’t much correlation between those who had gained the most strength and muscle mass with those who were still training. Instead, the people who continued weight training were those who felt the most competent in the gym. These people told the researchers that weight lifting had given them more confidence in their physical abilities even beyond the gym.
That’s something we see again and again here at Framework Personal Training in Reno. We specialize in fitness after forty, and we see the benefit of showing people of all ages how to safely and effectively weight train for improved health – both physical and mental.
Even a few sessions with our certified personal trainers can be enough to create a routine that will improve strength, balance, and flexibility. Learn more about what our trainers can do for you – contact us today to schedule a free consultation.