10 Benefits of Strength Training for Seniors
Strength training is just what older bodies need to fight the loss of muscle mass and strength, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). The ACSM believes that strength training is the most important exercise for older adults who aren’t fit, and that it should come before aerobic activity, not afterward, as is typically the case.
For all older adults a regular program of strengthening, combined with aerobic exercises, can help reduce or prevent many functional declines associated with growing older.
1) To improve functional strength and flexibility. This is important because it can help keep you safe in your daily activities and make you less vulnerable to falls or other injuries.
2) To increase bone mass and density. Weight-bearing and resistance exercises can help protect against osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break.
3)To build muscle strength. Adults lose between five and seven pounds of muscle every decade after age 20. Only strength training prevents muscle loss.
4)To lower body fat. Research in strength training has demonstrated a four-pound fat loss after three months of training, even though study participants increased their daily caloric intake by 15 percent, according to the American Fitness Professionals Association.
5)To reduce resting blood pressure. Strength training reduces resting blood pressure.
6)To reduce low back pain. Research has shown that strength training can increase low back strength and alleviate low back pain.
7) To reduce the pain of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Tufts University Diet and Nutrition Letter (1994) published a study on sensible strength training that reduced the pain of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
8) To reduce symptoms of other chronic diseases. Strength training can help to reduce the symptoms of depression, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and sleep disorders.
9) To enhance your personal appearance. Improving your strength and your physique can also be a plus for your self-confidence and self-esteem.
10) To increase serotonin the ‘feel good’ hormone.