5 Benefits of Resistance Training for Older Adults
Resistance training, also commonly known as strength training or weight lifting, isn't just for athletes or bodybuilders. It is highly recommended for everyone, especially older adults. Some examples of resistance training are lifting free weights (dumbbells, and kettlebells), medicine balls, sand bags, and weight machines. The National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends starting with two days of resistance training a week. As you get stronger you may add additional days. Just make sure to take rest days. Rest days give your body a chance to recover and muscles a chance to repair and grow stronger. Here are some other benefits of resistance training:
Reduces muscle loss. The loss of muscle mass due to aging is known as Sarcopenia. Sarcopenia begins in your 30's and will continue to increase as you get older. This process can be prevented or slowed down by resistance training.
Decreases Risk of Injury. Resistance training improves your balance and can even help reduce falls by 50%.
Manages Body Fat. Resistance training results in more fat loss by increasing muscle size. Muscle burns more calories at rest.
Increases Bone Density. Resistance training strengthens bones reducing the risk of developing osteoporosis and the risk of bone fractures.
Improves functional movement. As strength declines, daily activities like picking up groceries, or getting out of a chair will become difficult. Resistance training gives older adults the ability to stay independent.