If you’ve never lifted weights before, the idea of getting started in your golden years may seem laughable. Your hips are bad, you don’t know where to begin, what about your back? Those are all valid concerns, and yet the American College of Sports Medicine recommends weight lifting for seniors over the age of 50, noting that people into their 90s will enjoy the benefits. Here’s why seniors should lift weights, and where you can get started in Reno.
Benefits of Weight Training for Seniors
When the ACSM makes that recommendation, the benefits it references include improved balance, a faster walking pace, an easier time going up and down stairs, and a reduced risk of falls. But that’s just the beginning. Other benefits of weight lifting at any age include stronger bones, reduced muscle loss, improved mobility and endurance, stronger legs, better range of motion, and increased lung capacity. For a senior in particular, those things contribute directly to greater independence.
Muscle tone begins declining after age 50 and drops around 15% every decade. It has a cumulative effect that contributes to poor balance and a greater likelihood of falls and fractures. It’s those falls and the ensuing fractures that are the leading causes of hospitalizations for seniors and the biggest roadblock to independence and activity as we age.
The University of Vermont conducted a study of seniors aged 65 to 79 to investigate the effects of twelve weeks of weight training. At the end of the study, participants were able to walk a distance almost 40% farther without resting, indicating sufficient leg strength. That’s a big deal, because insufficient leg strength is often an indication of impending disabilities.
Regular exercise, and weight lifting in particular, can help keep us strong and healthy. But the benefits aren’t just physical. The emotional and mental benefits are just as important. Just a few session of weight lifting per week often results in more motivation and improved self confidence. It can also mean better quality of sleep, greater focus, a more positive outlook, and it could even help prevent dementia and other degenerative diseases.
For seniors who are interested in beginning a weights program, the biggest challenge tends to be either logistical or mental. How do they begin? Where do they go? What exercises can they safely perform, and how do they know what to do? That’s where an experienced personal trainer is so helpful. In Reno, the certified professionals at Framework Personal Training specialize in fitness over 40, and we have a list of senior clients who are enjoying the many benefits of training. Here’s why it’s never too late to get started, and how the experts at Framework in Reno can create a personal training plan that will help you stay strong and independent in your golden years. Contact us today.