Strength training for seniors -- an integral part of a well-rounded exercise program for everyone -- becomes absolutely essential for you, the baby boomer, the older adult, the young-at-heart.
And because strength training is so very important, I’ll give you the
Good News Right Up Front…
Let me repeat the last point -- Even small increases in muscular strength can make a very obvious difference in your ability to stay independent, especially if you already have lost a lot of muscle.
The increase in muscle strength may not be visible, but it surely is noticeable.
From what I have learned over the years in talking with my peers, the baby boomers, independence is the #1 important aspect of leading a healthy life as a senior.
Being able to climb stairs, carry groceries, move potted plants, or play with small grandchildren gives you a sense of physical freedom. It is of such high value that it makes a little effort well worth it.
Strength training for seniors - some call it resistance training or weight lifting - will not only improve your muscle strength, but it can make a number of other beneficial changes in your body.
Changes on the hormonal, chemical, enzymatic, and molecular level will help slow down - or even stop and reverse - many chronic conditions and diseases that are caused by a sedentary lifestyle.
You are capable of controlling the so-called “biomarkers of aging.”
I believe the biomarkers of aging are misnamed, as they really are biomarkers of inactivity.
Through strength training you control - and make a beneficial impact on - strength and muscle mass, bone mass and bone density, overall body composition, blood lipids, and cardio respiratory fitness.
Strength exercise for seniors means lifting or pushing weights.
These weights can be your own body, resistance bands or tubes, dumbbells, or common objects from your home.
I am very fond of using resistance bands. They're very easy to use and always at my disposal wherever I am - at home or traveling. No more excuses...
If you have the time and the means, you can train at a gym or a fitness center. Doing so provides yet another benefit to you -- socializing with other people. It is fun and encouraging to see other people your age do the right thing, too.
Start with light weights - ease into it - and gradually increase the amount of weight or resistance you use.
Challenge yourself, but listen to your body, and use common sense when you exercise.
Aim to strength exercise two or more days per week for 30-minute sessions each - working all your major muscle groups.
This page is not meant to go into detail about the specifics of strength training for seniors, such as goal setting and planning, frequency and variety of exercise, form, repetitions, and safety - all this is dealt with on other pages.
But I advise you to first seek your doctor’s approval and then get started.
You may want to enlist the help and guidance of a personal trainer (in-home or at the gym), one who is qualified and specialized in fitness of older adults.
If you find sufficient information about strength exercise on this site or elsewhere, and are comfortable in your knowledge, go ahead and get started.
You must strength train.
Especially as you get older.
As a well-qualified health coach and fitness trainer, I offer to guide you along this new or renewed road to physical independence and longevity.
I am an older adult who knows how to guide and encourage his peers in their pursuit of long lasting SeniorHealthSuccess.
Simply contact me with any questions you may have.
P.S. If you're medically cleared and want to give it a try by yourself, here's a 12-minute video for beginner's strength exercises:
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