The idea of asking an older adult to lift weights or engage in resistance training may seem ludicrous to many people. Thoughts of seniors hurting themselves or over-exerting and collapsing will creep into many people’s minds. Yet, none of this is true. In fact, resistance training is one of the best ways to slow down the aging process and become healthier in your later years. Resistance training is an absolute necessity.
Let’s take a closer look at why most elderly people will benefit from resistance training.
1. Prevents muscle loss
After the age of forty, almost all men and women lose some muscle every year. It’s a very gradual and unnoticeable loss that becomes visible after a long period of time. Resistance training will retard this process.
The human body is very adaptable. It will cope with whatever reasonable demand is placed upon it. Seniors who start off with light resistance training and work out with little dumbbells will slowly see their strength increase.
Over months, they’ll be able to lift heavier weights more easily. It’s truly a miracle the way the human body works. The body will retain lean muscle and even gain some. So, muscle loss is prevented, and baby boomers will be less frail.
2. Increases strength
As mentioned earlier, resistance training increases strength. This is so beneficial for many reasons. It makes daily life much easier. The 70-year old lady who does bodyweight squats and works her legs regularly will have no problem climbing up a flight of stairs. The elderly man who does barbell curls at home will easily carry grocery bags at the mall without struggle. The strength gained from resistance training will carry over to many parts of their lives.
3. Prevents osteoporosis
Osteoporosis affects millions of people around the world and women seem to be at higher risk. Here’s something that most people are unaware of – resistance training strengthens your bones. It’s not just your muscles that benefit, but your bones too. Resistance training will improve bone density and even prevent fractures related to osteoporosis. This is a very powerful benefit of resistance training.
4. Stress relief
Many younger people mistakenly believe that retired seniors have a leisurely life without any stress. This is not true. Family issues, boredom, loneliness, etc. are all causes of stress for seniors. Some of them may even have financial difficulties.
Resistance training will give them an outlet to release stress. It will lift their moods, occupy their time, give them a sense of purpose and achievement and much more. Seniors who train with weights will gain a sense of pride as they get stronger and look fitter. This is priceless and will really lift their sagging spirits.
5. Weight management
With obesity becoming an epidemic, resistance training has become more important than ever. Seniors who are overweight will burn off more fat by engaging in resistance training.
When there is more lean muscle in your body, you’ll burn more calories while at rest. Resistance training will increase your metabolism and keep weight gain in check.
Based on these benefits alone, resistance training is definitely something that seniors should make a part of their daily life. Do consult your doctor before embarking on any exercise program.