Maintaining a good quality of life is key to healthier aging. We value our independence and take pride in being able to take part in our favorite activities, daily chores, or spending time with friends and family. It is important to stay strong, healthy, and as mobile as possible. While aging is a fact of life, it does not mean that it has to necessarily dictate our limitations. In fact, it can be very fruitful and productive.
Strength exercises are shown to be a major weapon in slowing down the physical declines associated with the aging process. A study performed at the University of Navarre (in Spain) shows that strength exercises help to avoid frailty in the later years. Many fitness experts are lauding strength training for slowing the progression of lower bone density, metabolism, and muscle mass. Health benefits include a lower risk of developing arthritis, reduced body pain, and aiding in the prevention or management of many health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. While no remedy or exercise regimen can stop the progression of time, strength training done in conjunction with aerobics can certainly keep you much healthier in the process.
Physical inactivity results in muscle loss, which can be as much as 7 pounds per decade. (Forbes 1976, Evans and Rosenberg 1992). In addition, many other health issues are linked to inactivity. For example, glucose sensitivity decreases as we age. Moreover, insulin resistance and deficient glucose metabolism are associated with Type II diabetes. Researchers at the University of Maryland found that four months of regular strength training increased glucose uptake by almost 25 percent in the pre-diabetic study subjects. and may help stave off or reverse pre-diabetic conditions.
One of the most important aspects of strength training is that you are never too old to begin. Always get consent from a physician before starting any workout program. This is especially true for individuals with pre-existing health conditions. For people who suffer from mobility issues and injuries, look for an instructor who is able to ‘scale’ any workouts to make it safe and effective.
If you want to stay strong, active, mobile, and self-sufficient as you age, then you should be strength training twice a week to start. You can view our entire article on Anaerobic Fitness by clicking here. Its benefits are second to none for weight management, building core strength, and staying svelte.