Done properly, safely, and consistently, exercise has been shown to slow and even reverse age-related disease. A study entitled “Do muscle mass, muscle density, strength and physical function similarly influence risk of hospitalization in older adults?” 3,000 people in the 70-80 age group found weak strength, poor function and low muscle density were associated with a greater risk of hospitalisation.
Research shows that muscle strength declines by 15 percent per decade after age 50, and 30 percent per decade after age 70. Think about everyday activities, such as rising out of a chair unaided, getting out of the bath or putting shopping away: without a basic level of muscle strength and power to draw upon, the simplest of tasks can become impossible which has a massive impact upon the individual’s potential to be independent and hence on their psychological well-being.
Resistance programs can help reverse and prevent muscle loss and is a type of strength training that can use body weight, free weights, exercise machines, or elastic bands (dynabands) to strengthen muscles. The following are benefits of resistance training.
- Improved muscular strength. The ability to shift heavy objects in house or garden
- Improved muscular endurance. The ability to move weight around repeatedly such as climbing the stairs
- Increased bone strength. A decreased risk of fractures.
- Increased lean tissue. Increase metabolic rate and improve body composition
There is also evidence that older individuals with greater muscular strength may have a lower risk of developing mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, according to research published in the November issue of the Archives of Neurology.
Resistance training can also aid weight management as muscle tissue is metabolically active and the more of it you have the more calories you will burn making maintaining a healthy weight much easier. The recommendation for an active, independent older adult is resistance training should be done on up to 4 days per week and a whole body approach should be employed. However this is a goal that Whole Life Fitness can help you achieve rather than a starting point If you have any questions about this article or resistance training please leave me a comment and I will get back to you as quickly as possible.
Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over-50s
Do muscle mass, muscle density, strength, and physical function similarly influence risk of hospitalization in older adults?
Association of Muscle Strength With the Risk of Alzheimer Disease and the Rate of Cognitive Decline in Community-Dwelling Older Persons