Is Weight Training Suitable for Seniors?
Want to keep fit until late in life? Wonder what’s the best way to prevent muscle and bone loss? The answer might surprise you.
Believe it or not, weight training is one of the best forms of exercise for seniors. It not only increases muscle tone and strength but also improves joint function and cardiovascular health.
The Unexpected Benefits of Strength Training for Seniors
As you age, your muscle mass decreases and your metabolic rate drops. On top of that, your bones become weaker and less dense. This leads to weight gain, loss of balance, fractures, osteoporosis, heart disease, and other health conditions. Thus, it’s crucial to embrace an active lifestyle and watch your diet.
Strength training is considered an excellent choice for older adults. According to science, it keeps your bones strong, promotes cardiovascular health, and lowers the risk of osteoporosis. Whether you’re in your 50s or 70s, you can benefit from lifting weights.
In a study conducted on seniors ages 65 to 79, those who started a strength training program were able to walk 40 percent further without rest within three months. This form of exercise increases your strength and endurance, making everyday activities easier. In the long run, it boosts immunity, lowers cholesterol levels, and adds years to your life.
Lifting weights makes you less vulnerable to falls and age-related disorders. Squats, lunges, rows, and other exercises increase bone density and joint flexibility.
Moreover, they help build and preserve muscle while burning fat. Your blood pressure will drop, your energy will increase, and your brain will stay sharp. These factors contribute to optimum health and well-being.
Is It Safe for Older Adults to Lift Weights?
Most seniors mistakenly believe that lifting weights can lead to injuries. They think that their bodies are too fragile to bear heavy loads. While it’s true that strength training carries some risks, so does any other type of exercise. As long as you’re using good lifting form, there’s nothing to worry about.
Before getting started, consider your fitness level and overall health. Consult a personal trainer or physiotherapist to see what exercises are best for you, and which ones to avoid.
Start with basic movements, such as bodyweight squats, bench presses, and lunges. As you gain strength, begin to use weights and vary your workouts. If you carry extra pounds, finish your sessions with cardio.