Strength training into 'older' age

April 26, 2023

Strength training, also known as resistance training, is a form of exercise that involves using weights, resistance bands, or bodyweight to strengthen and tone muscles. While strength training has many benefits for people of all ages, it is particularly important for individuals aged over 50. Here are some of the top benefits of strength training for this demographic.

1. Helps Maintain Muscle Mass and Bone Density

As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass and bone density. This can lead to a number of negative health outcomes, including increased risk of falls, fractures, and osteoporosis. However, strength training can help slow or even reverse these effects by increasing muscle mass and bone density. By lifting weights or performing resistance exercises, you can strengthen your muscles and bones, improving your overall physical function and reducing your risk of injury.

2. Improves Balance and Coordination

Another important benefit of strength training for people over 50 is improved balance and coordination. As we age, our sense of balance and coordination can decline, which can increase the risk of falls and other accidents. However, by incorporating exercises that challenge your balance and coordination into your strength training routine, you can improve these skills and reduce your risk of falling.

3. Reduces the Risk of Chronic Diseases

Strength training has been shown to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases that are more common in older adults, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. This is because strength training can help improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation in the body, all of which are important for overall health and disease prevention.

4. Boosts Metabolism and Weight Loss

Strength training can also help boost your metabolism and support weight loss. This is because muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat tissue, meaning that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn throughout the day. Additionally, strength training can help preserve lean muscle mass while you lose weight, which is important for maintaining a healthy body composition.

5. Improves Mental Health and Cognitive Function

Finally, strength training has been shown to have many positive effects on mental health and cognitive function. For example, strength training can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, boost self-esteem and confidence, and improve overall quality of life. Additionally, strength training has been linked to improved cognitive function, including better memory and increased attention span.

In conclusion, strength training is a highly beneficial form of exercise for people aged over 50. By incorporating strength training into your exercise routine, you can improve muscle mass and bone density, balance and coordination, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, boost metabolism and weight loss, and improve mental health and cognitive function. To get started, it is recommended that you consult with a qualified fitness professional to develop a safe and effective strength training program tailored to your specific needs and goals.