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Forever Strong: The Vital Role of Strength Training in Aging Gracefully

Strength training as an older adult is essential!

The power of "Use it or Lose it!"


For many older adults, growing older seems to involve the inevitable loss of strength, energy and robustness. But this need not be so!



The inevitable physical decline with age leads to such things as:


● Decrease in muscle mass after 30 years of age

● Decrease in bone mineral density

● Change in production of hormones and receptor effectiveness

● Joint degeneration and pain

● Cognitive decline

● Decreased balance, mobility and increased fall risk (PERCEPTION OF FRAILTY)



HOWEVER

Multiple studies from many different countries across the last 30 years have confirmed that

the believed age related decline in structure and function is much closer associated with

inactivity rather than age specifically.


As people age they typically become less active. Reduction in physical jobs and housework

reduces as they downsize and retire. The desire for challenging physical tasks decreases

and participation in sport reduces, sedentary pursuits are taken up as they “grow up and act their age”.


Sometimes loss of loved ones can create discontinuation of enjoyable activities

such as walking or cycling.


But the research shows that much of the physical decline can be delayed or offset via

engaging in strength training just three sessions a week. Therefore decreasing the frailty of

an older adult.



Benefits seen are:


● Increased muscle mass due to adaptation to moving medium to heavy loads often

● Increased bone density due to loading bones through resistance

● Improved blood profiles human growth hormone and insulin

● Increased metabolism, key to maintain healthy weight

● Reduced cardiovascular risks

● Strengthens all joints and maintains flexibility


How much and how often

Progressive resistance training that is formally supervised and appropriate should be

conducted 3 times weekly to offset age related muscle decline.

● Work 1 to 3 effortful sets

● Work all muscle groups and those of daily function

● Incorporate balance and stretches

● Work to your capabilities and expand them

● Use all mediums of exercises i.e. barbells, dumbbells, medicine balls, resistance

bands and bodyweight exercises

● Stay connected so joining groups for exercise or outdoor pursuits are great

● Eat more protein to aid in the upregulation and repair of the body



It's the perfect time to give resistance training a go, get yourself moving and roll back the

clock on those stuff joints and weak muscles.


As always, I'm here to help.


Yours in good health

Shane.

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