Ask any personal trainer or doctor about strength training for people over age 50, and their response can likely be summed up in one word: magic. The benefits of strength training are lengthy for everyone, but it’s the over-50 group that may see the biggest benefit. Here’s why strength training for people over 50 is so valuable—and why it’s never too late to begin.
The Benefits of Strength Training After 50
- It’s one of the best defenses against sarcopenia. This process of degradation to muscle mass and function begins in our thirties and accelerates after age 50.
- It helps maintain bone density. Keeping our bones strong and dense helps provide protection against fractures, which is one of the leading causes of hospitalization among older adults.
- It improves balance, which also helps reduce the risks of falls and helps older adults enjoy independence in their later years.
- It improves insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, which helps support a healthy weight.
- It may offer a protective effect against the risk of dementia.
- It has a valuable mental health component. Strength training lowers the risk of depression, anxiety and fatigue while also improving sleep quality, cognitive function, and self-esteem.
- It helps reduce the risk of injury. Regular strength training helps toughen connective and muscle tissue, which reduces the risk of injury.
But to reap all of these benefits, consistency is key. And to ensure you’re not inadvertently putting yourself at risk, there are two things to keep in mind. First, make sure you’re working with a certified personal trainer. Safety considerations are always important in strength training, and that’s especially true for older adults. The right trainer will ensure you’re using the appropriate weights, sets and repetitions, performing the exercises safely, and following a consistent program. Second, tune in to yourself and make sure to be very vocal about what feels good and what doesn’t. Knowing when to say no to a specific exercise gives your trainer useful information for customizing a workout plan that accommodates for any pre-existing conditions or old injuries and still helps you enjoy all the benefits of strength training.
Here at Framework Personal Training in Reno, we specialize in fitness for older adults. It’s incredibly rewarding to see older adults enjoy increased strength, balance, mobility, independence, among many other benefits. When you’re working out under the supervision of a certified personal trainer, it really is never too late to get started. We’d love to answer your questions about personal training for people over age 50. Contact us today to learn more.