Make Room for the Weight Room – Senior Strength Training

We are always being fed the newest fitness trends to follow for a healthy life. The kinds of movement being promoted to us as we age are significantly different than what is pushed for the younger crowd, but the way you work out may not necessarily have to change much from what you were used to after all!

Often, we hear all about the benefits of aerobic activity, while strength training gets left in the dust. While aerobics are great practice for a longer and healthier life, it is not the only way to see these results. According to Iowa State University, studies show that lifting weights for less than an hour a week may reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke by 40 to 70 percent.

Benefits of strength training

The benefits of strength training for seniors are nearly endless. With less than an hour per week of resistance exercise, we see a 29% lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome. This means there is a lower chance of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. In addition, there are great benefits involved in metabolic functions. For example, if you are building muscle, then you are burning energy and therefore preventing obesity.

In addition to health benefits, we also see how senior strength training assists in everyday activities. As aging occurs, it seems harder and harder to complete the tasks that once seemed so simple like climbing flights of stairs, carrying loads of groceries in from the car, and even having the strength to play with your grandchildren. Fortunately, strength training is a solution because through different strengthening movements, you will work your body’s largest muscle groups which translate to improved performance of these tasks.

An adaptable form of exercise

Teaching your body a whole new form of movement may seem a bit intimidating at first, but it’s okay to take it slow! Strength training is very adaptable to different levels of capability among seniors. It is okay to start off with less frequent exercise or even fewer reps.

Keep in mind, it’s not essential to go to a gym either! If you don’t have dumbbells and weight machines, you’re still in luck! Household items work just as well as weights, as long as you are increasing resistance on your muscles!

Safety is key

The most important part before starting to incorporate strength training into your routine is making sure you are in the proper place to begin. Be sure to speak with your doctor first. Once you get permission, consider having someone with experience in senior strength training accompany you. This will help with learning proper form and also determining what size weights and how many exercises to incorporate into your workout.

Strength training isn’t the only way to stay active and healthy in old age. Our blog also covers an array of topics about movement and health. Read about how different types of exercise, chair yoga, and even socializing can help promote a longer healthier life!

Manors offers plenty of ways to stay active in senior living! We have trained staff and in-house fitness facilities that are ready to introduce you to the world of senior strength training. Visit our website for more information about the activities we provide for seniors at our various locations around the Lehigh Valley. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about our services at Manors of the Valley.