If it makes you chuckle thinking of your grandmother “pumping iron,” hold that laugh. Lifting weights can be beneficial to anyone over the age of 65. There are benefits for both the body and the mind. Keep reading and no matter your age, you might become an advocate for why seniors should lift weights.
How Weight Training Helps The Body
After you turn 50, your muscle tone declines by 15% each decade, and eventually you become more prone to poor balance and falling. In fact, falls and fractures are one of the main causes for hospitalization for seniors. When this happens, it robs seniors of their active and independent lifestyle. So in addition to cardiovascular activities, seniors should consider weight training.
The American College Of Sports Medicine recommends weight training for all people over age 50 and tells us even those into their 90s can benefit. You may find your balance improves, your walking pace is faster, and climbing stairs will be less difficult, so you are less likely to fall.
Some of the benefits of weight training for seniors include the following:
- Helps to develop stronger bones and lowers age related muscle loss
- Improves mobility and endurance like being able to walk longer
- Strengthens leg muscles
- Improves range of motion
- Increases lung capacity
It can also help those with arthritis and joint pain to improve their pain management. In addition, lifting weights boosts the metabolism to increase weight loss with better glucose control. Convinced yet?
Weight Training Can Have An Emotional Impact Too
Senior weight training not only builds strength, but it also leads to better motivation and more self-confidence facilitating seniors to continue the activity. It can help older adults to sleep better, be happier, have better focus, and may help to prevent dementia and other degenerative diseases.
Talk with Mahon Family Medicine before beginning any new exercise or weight training program. Start slowly and build up the weights.
If you are a senior, ask your children or grandchildren to purchase a lightweight set of barbells for you. Suggest they might even work out with you, and it can be a family affair! There’s no time like the present to start.
Talk with Mahon Family Medicine about starting weight training and to suggest some initial exercises for you.