Would you believe me if I said strength is an important characteristic for each and every one of you reading this article? Strength is a key indicator of the quality of life you are capable of living. No matter your limitations, current health conditions, or past experience you would absolutely benefit from starting to focus on strength today! For the purpose of this article, we are going to focus on the benefits of strength training for “Seniors.”
WHY IS IT ESSENTIAL?
First, let’s list some of the changes that the human body occurs as we age:
Increased body fat
A decrease in aerobic capacity
Reduced bone density [especially you ladies]
Decreased strength and muscle mass
While these are all normal changes that we as humans experience through aging, we can put up our best fight to battle these changes and minimize each and everyone through strength training.
Let’s start with everyone's favorite… body composition. As we age, we oftentimes gain more fat while losing muscle mass. The risk for chronic illness goes up and unhappiness with appearance becomes even more prevalent. Through strength training, we can build muscle mass and in turn reduce body fat. Also, before you can even go down that road NO you will not get “huge.” Believe me, I’ve been trying for 10 years and it isn’t as easy as you might think. You won’t accidentally stumble upon inordinate amounts of muscle mass. This also leads to improved mental health! Through building strength you will notice a boost in mood and overall quality of life.
Strength training increases muscle mass and slows the loss of muscle as we age. By age 72, the average person has lost around 25% of their muscle mass and strength training is the best way to battle this! This leads us directly into preventing bone fractures and unnecessary falls! As we age our loss of bone density and osteoporosis will leave us at risk. Through lifting weights we are able to improve our bone density and neuromuscular coordination, therefore, reducing the risk of falls and breaks.
It’s imperative you stick with compound movements when strength training. This is going to lead to the ability to walk further, increase mobility, and potentially remove any assistive devices you need to get around. This makes life easier and gives you the ability to care for yourself longer.
KEEP IT SAFE!
Knowledge is power! Invest in either teaching yourself through courses or hiring a professional strength coach to teach you how to perform the exercises properly. Quick disclaimer, just because you lifted in high school does not mean you know how to perform the movements correctly. Trust me on this! Invest your resources and realize the value of what you are getting in return.
Make sure to listen to your body and learn the difference between what it means to be sore and “hurt.” It’s imperative to prioritize safety and take the approach of “less is more.” Progressively overloading and taking longer periods of time to recover is ideal. Remember you aren’t 25 anymore! If you are interested in learning more and potentially working with our coaches make sure to visit our website and schedule a free assessment.